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Rev. JOHN TODD, D. D, 




Entered according to Act of Congress,, in the year 1853, by 

Hopkins, Bridgman", and Company, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 

ambb; J) qs: 

metcalf and company, steeeotypees and printeeb 






AG 19 'IS 

In sending this little volume out into the 
world, the Author has no explanation to 
make, no apology to offer, no wish to ex- 
press, except that he fervently hopes it may 
be useful to those for whom it was WTitten. 
It will drop in the path of some to whom 
life is new, whose experience is next to 
nothing, and who will be willing to receive 
a few hints, even if they are not so full, 
so pertinent, or so valuable as a professed 
teachel: could give. Till such a teacher does 
speak, may I not hope that my whispers wiU 
be useful? 

How I came to write on a subject so for* 


eign to my own laborious profession, and 
to attempt to do that for which I have so 
many disqualifications, need not now be ex- 

May I hope that the daughter, who, away 
from her home, just entering upon the un- 
tried scenes of school, shall open this lit- 
tle volume, will find something to guide, to 
encourage, to stimulate and ennoble her, so 
that she shall return to her home in after 
days, like the king's daughter, " all glorious 
within " ; and that the anxious mother, on 
putting it into the carefully-packed trunk, 
will feel that her child has not gone wholly 
unattended by any friend. 

PiTTSFiELD, September 1, 1853. 





A New Attempt. Indefatigable Student. Embiyo of Im 
mortality. Learning to see. How the Little Child learns. 
Labor makes beautiful. A Great Work. Will subdued. 
The World of Fancy. Where is the Attention ? The Wild 
Colt. Napoleon's Memory. Somewhere and Somebody 
Investigate and reason. Garden of Life. For Eternity. 
Better than Wealth. The Polished Jewel. ... 1 



Home Education. The Openmg Flower. Parents unfit 
Teachers. Private Instruction. AH need a Standard. In- 
fluence of Nunneries. Teaching a. Profession. It is a 
Trial. On a larger Scale. A Pleasant Plan. Clothes and 
Shoes. Longing to turn back. Weather changed. Count- 
mg the Weeks. A Critical Point. Character developing. 
a * 


Best of every Thing. Back-bone Work. An Angel's Wing 
drooping -. . . . . .18 



jfhe Great Trial. Trunks full. Nothing forgotten. A Va- 
cant Stare. Two Thirds lost. Memory wanting. Xeno- 
phon's Eetreat. All need Judgment. Learn to discrimi- 
nate. Best Taste in Town. Select the Best. Knowledge 
ninning away. Loose Change. Where to look. Society 
of a Lapdog. Not a Short Job. Iron-hearted Bell. Habit 
of Toil 36 



Witch Stories. The Question proposed. Study dry Work. 
Look it out again. Bishop Jewel's Itlemory. Conquer, 
step by step. A High Standard. A Finished Young Lady. 
Capacity wanted. Chain the Attention. Author of this 
IMischief. Dr. Gregory. Ship obeying the Helm. Algebra 
forgotten. Waters filtered. Cambridge and Oxford. Taste 
cultivated. Duty become Pleasure 62 



Power of Oratory. Constant Impression. Almost a Nun. 
Poor Relations forgotten. Small Coin of Life. Professor 


Francke's Advice. Crows' Nests. A Beautiful Compari- 
son. The always Miserable. I^Iirth and Cheerfulness. 
"What you will desii-e to recall. Severest Punishment. 
Out of our o^Ti Shadow. School-girls not ]\Iatrons. One 
Burden lightened. Desperate Intimacies. Carry Sunshine 
with you. Not afraid of Eesponsibihty. . . . 70 



New Trials. Better Scholars than you. Friends vnU. be dis- 
appointed. Wonderful Blacksmith. No Excuse for you. 
Kock Slates and Sea-egg Pencils. Not too late. So much 
done. Parents' ]\Iistake. A Good-for-nothing Macliine. 
Too great a Difference. The Best Response. Letters hke 
Chimneys. Starving Pupil. Genteel Prisons. Why not 
spend ]\Ioney ? School not for the Rich alone. Daniel 
Webster's Congratulation. East Wmds must come. Cow- 
ard won the Day. 



The Tedious Day. How to read. Now is the Time to be^. 
Nothmg to build with. One Dish at a Time. Great lien 
raised up in Times of Commotion. One hundred and 
twenty-four Volumes. A Book read in Six Months. Books 
of PewteV and of Bank-notes. Starving on Jellies. Chang- 
ing Horses at Paris. Convent in Portugal. Chain of 'Mem- 
ory. Three Hours a Week. Let Nothing interfere. Po- 



etry its own Eeward. None, safest. Giant cracking 
Nuts. Pliospliorus and Honey. . . . . . 104 



How to preserve Thought. Fresh as ever. Not a Little 
Undertaking. Composition dreaded. Watered by Tears. 
Theory mistaken. No Time for Newspapers. Factories 
near the Waterfall.' Whitefield's Pathos. Passion-flower. 
Women must do the Letter-writing. Chain kept bright. 
How Letters are treated in Turkey. Graceful Handwrit- 
ing. First Specimen. Learn to bear the Yoke of Disci- 
pline.' Graces of Time run into Glories of Eternity. Econ- 
omist of Time. Thousand Years before Noah. Arrow 
ruined. Life hurried. 121 



Indian Fashions. Dr. Chalmers's Handwriting. John Fos- 
ter's Regret. Habit of Seeing. Audubon's Bet. Lady 
Mary Wortley Montagu a Physician. Not ashamed to ask 
a Question. Secret of Despatch. Chinese Student. Al- 
ways waiting. Reproof warded off. Just slipping on her 
Things. Lord Brougham's Rules. Mr. Condar's Speech. 
A Sure Recipe. Strive to please. Never-failing Beau- 
ty. Haydn's Gladness. Feast of Joy. Fair Weather 
will come. Passion disgusting in Woman. Rejoicing in 
God 140 




CDnveniences of our Day. All under Law. Abuses among 
Good Men. Dr. Payson's Letter. Good Advice. The 
Two Extremes. John Howard's Testimony. His Experi- 
ence in full. Too much Care. The Conscientious Self- 
destroyer. Recovery, — a Curious Case. Hints not Rules. 
Sleep, how much needed. Sir William Jones. A Cuiious 
WiE. Importance of Habits. jMother's Cupboard. The 
Young Lady's Self-conti-ol. Exercise uadispensable. Dr. 
Franklin's Experience. Mind corresponds with the Body. 
Cheerfulness essential to Health 162 



No Excuse for us. Bible worn on the Neck. Eusebius's 
Testimony. Bible committed to Memory. Primitive Cus- 
tom. Cool Water from the Spring. " Let us begin again." 
The Embarrassed Merchant. The Bible Hawker. Fifty 
Centimes. Garden of the Lord. Commit it accurately. 
Eight Thousand Verses a Year. Do not omit a Day. Bi- 
ble in the Trunk. Ice broken. Not a Bad Idea. Sixteen 
Bible Clerks. Chinaman's Experience. Bible in Yuca- 
tan. Concordance a Help. Let your Faith be strong. 
A Lamp to the Feet. Suited to eveiy Thing. . . .181 




The iEolian Harp. Golden Links in the Chain of Life. 
Rough Diamond pohshed. Her True Position. They make 
us. New Stars. Man cannot do it. Her Perfect Love. 
Gray's Fihal Lore. Home-loving Queen. Where Aris- 
tocracy begins. Light of the Household. To save rather 
than earn. Real Friendship. A Great Mistake. The 
Noble Woman. Another Woman's Heart. The Pleasant 
Surprise. Soft Star of Love. Honor to Old Age. Pecu- 
liar Protection. Rights of Women. Five Sisters. A Lit- 
tle " Laming." Mrs. Kennicott. Woman appreciated. . 202 



Pleasant Anticipations. " The Last." Joy awaiting you. 
Responsibihty before you. Minute by Minute. Poor 
Housekeeping. Knowledge useless. No Regular Time for 
Study. A Part of your Discipline. " Twitting upon 
Facts." Help your Mother. Household Duties. Apolo- 
gize for Nothing. Sit still but an Hour. Afternoon Oc- 
cupations. Franklin's Courtesy. Form a Library. Busy 
and Quiet. Mazes of Fractions. Never-failing Cheerful- 
ness. Service to your Father. Home Field first. Woman's 
Way opened. Joy in the Evening. Chariot- Wheels drag- 
ging. Melody of Heaven. A Rod or a Crown. Uses of 
Sonxnv. Ready to work. Life's Harvest. . . . A28 





A New Attempt. Indefatigable Student. Embryo of Immor- 
tality. Learning to see. How the Little Child learns. La- 
bor makes beautiful. A Great Work. Will subdued. The 
World of Fancy. Where is the Attention 1 The Wild Colt. 
Napoleon's Memory. Somewhere and Somebody. Investi- 
gate and reason. Garden of Life. For Eternity. Better 
than Wealth. The Polished Jewel. 

I AM about to try to do what, as far as I 
know, no one has ever yet attempted; — I am 
now to undertake the preparation of a book 
for the sole benefit of the school-girl. I am 
intending, as far as possible, to have two char- 
acters. I mean, I wish to throw myself into 
her situation, to feel her trials and wants, and 
at the same time, so to remain myself that I 
may drop hints and bestow advice that may 
be useful to her. 

A few years since, and you were all little 


children. Your education began when you 
first opened the eye and noticed the light, 
when you first bent the ear and distinguished 
sounds, when you first put forth the hand and 
brought it in contact with something else. 
The first two years of life, though the impres- 
sions and the feelings and emotions excited 
are all now forgotten, were, perhaps, the most 
important of any two years that you have 
lived. You were then an indefatigable stu- 
dent, — learning size and distances, forms and 
colors, sound and tones, the different taste 
of food and drinks, the geography of your 
home, the tones of the human voice and the 
variations of the human countenance. Then 
you first learned the difference between the 
smile and the frown, the. bitter and the sweet, 
the cold and the hot, the distant and the near, 
the hard and the soft, the great and the small, 
the sweet tone and the harsh, the feeling of 
pleasure and of pain. Then the emotions of 
joy or of grief were easily aroused and quickly 
passed away ; — then hope and fear followed 
each other in quick succession. Then you 
began to compare, to judge, to discriminate, 
and to remember. Then you first learned 


that a picture would recall an object before 
seen, and even that it might be recalled by the 
mysterious power of the memory. Then the 
powers of the mind, feeble indeed, began to 
unfold themselves, and the germ of an immor- 
tal nature began to be developed. No hand, 
no voice, no care, and no love, but that of one 
being, were fitted to begin the education of 
such a being. Need I say whose ? No voice 
thrilled upon the little heart, no hand felt so 
soft to the silken head, no look beamed so 
bright, no love watched with such vigilance 
and such sleepless care, as that of the Mother I 
To her care and watch and love was com-* 
mitted the first training of that mind whose 
thoughts were to be deathless, and the first 
forming of that character which was to grow 
for ever. The nursing of a planet, a moon, 
or a sun, which will shine a few ages of 
time and then go out, would be of less conse- 
quence than the training of such a mind. If 
the mother cannot do battle with the elements 
without, and if she cannot mingle with the 
strifes and struggles of business and take her 
place and crowd her way with the eager mul- 


titude who carry on the concerns of the world, 
she has a higher and a holier duty to perform. 
She has committed to her the embryo of im- 
mortality, and the little feet which she first 
teaches to walli are receiving a direction from 
her which will never change. 

Now what is the object which we have in 
educating a daughter ? It is very plain that 
we wish' to teach her to use her eyes. We 
point her to the window. We turn her face 
to the candle. We show her bright colors. 
Then we teach her to use the ear. We call 
her in different tones of voice. We make 
musical sounds. We cheer her with notes of 
cheerfulness, and we quiet her with the soft 
tones of music. Next we educate her to use 
her hands. We put things into them. We 
close the hand and teach her to hold fast. 
We teach her to move the hand, to shake the 
rattle, and to expect that the next shake ^\all 
make the same noise. Then we teach her to 
use the feet, to poise her weight on them, and 
then on one foot while she carefully takes up 
and moves the other : to balance herself and 
to move where she will. Then we instruct 


her in the art of making sounds, uttering 
words, and forming sentences. Then we 
teach her to make known her wants, to ex- 
press her emotions, to utter her notes of joy 
or of sorrow, to understand human language 
and to receive and communicate human 

All this process of education takes place 
before the child is two years old. And a very 
great work it is to do it; but God has in- 
sured its being done in three ways : first, it 
gives the child such pleasure to learn and to 
do these things that she strives continually to 
improve herself; secondly, we love to see the 
little one in its artless attempt to imitate, 
so that it is a pleasure to instruct and aid it ; 
and thndly, that inexpressible love of which 1 
have already spoken, which makes the mother 
forget herself and her fatigues, in the pleasure 
of instructing and drawing out the soul of her 

Now the process of education has be- 
gun. And God has so ordered, in his wis- 
dom, that all that is valuable sljall cost in 
proportion to its value. K we want a beauti- 


ful tree for shade, or to produce us fruit, we 
must plant the seed, defend the germ, train 
the shrub, watch over the little thing till it 
grows into strength and beauty. We may- 
have beautiful stones to sparkle and flash be- 
fore the eye, but they must first be dug from 
the earth, then polished with immense care, 
and finally set with skill. Even then they 
are hideous, unless they adorn the person of 
the virtuous. We may take a pound of steel 
which is worth a few cents, and bestow labor 
and skill upon it, till it is made into springs 
for ladies' watches, and that one pound of 
steel is then worth forty thousand dollars ! We 
may throw out the stones of a quarry, and 
they are almost worthless ; but labor and skill 
lay them up into the walls of a palace, and 
ages hence they are admired and in use ; and 
in the hands of the wonder-working artist, the 
rough block of marble becomes the beautiful 
statue. We take the hardest and the most 
gnarled trees that grow, and they become, un- 
der labor and skill, the beautiful ship that 
passes like a bird from continent to continent. 
The most beautiful rose that now adorns the 


window or the garden was once the single 
wild-rose, possessing hardly any thing like 
beauty or fragrance. Cultivation has done 
all the rest ; and many of our most nutritious 
vegetables were, in then wild state, both un- 
savory and poisonous. 

It is not surprising, then, that, in the ar- 
rangements of God's providence, it is a great^ 
as well as an important work, to educate one 
human being, — to train its body and its spirit 
so that it will eventually be and do all for 
which it is created. It is a great work, for 
ten thousand right impressions are to be made 
and fastened on the soul ; ten thousand wrong 
impressions are to be counteracted and ef- 
faced. As years roll onward and the child 
grows, the work of education becomes more 
and more difficult. There mmst be the work 
of many years ere the child is in any measure 
fitted to take care of itself, and to be intrusted 
with its own interests. Slowly and carefully 
must the foundations of character be laid, and 
while many would think that the great anxi- 
ety of the parent would now be, How shall I 
feed and clothe and shelter my little daugh- 


ter ? there is a much heavier question weigh- 
ing upon him, and that is, What manner of 
child shall this be ? 

It is very plain that one of the first things 
is to teach the child self-discipline, and to 
yield up his will and his wisdom to that of 
another. This is called obedience. It should 
be prompt, unreserved, and cheerful. The 
happiness of the child depends on this. And 
the child that has not been taught to obey at 
once, with alacrity, and with cheerfulness, lit- 
tle knows what it is to be happy. That con- 
test between the will of the child and the wiU 
of the parent, which is often so mortifying to 
the parent, is utterly incompatible with hap- 
piness. The same remark is true of your 
instructor who is in the place of the parent. 
Whenever your wiU comes in contact with his, 
and you yield only outward obedience and 
outward submission, you are very unhappy. 
The will, like a wild animal, must submit or 
conquer very quickly. A state of contest is 
a state of wretchedness. 

One of the first things, then, in education, 
is to learn cheerfully to submit your wiU to 


that of another. And God has appointed your 
parents to this high trust. They may dele- 
gate their authority to others for a time, as 
they do in relation to the teacher of their 
child. But a great trust is theirs. An edu- 
cated mind, then, has learned to submit to 
law, to order, and to such regulations at home, 
in the school, or in the state, as are for the 
best good of the community. 

But now we come to the mind, — how is 
that to be trained ? The little child lives in 
an ideal world. The boy has horses and cat- 
tle, menageries and armies, ships and rail-cars, 
all made of his little pile of blocks. And the 
little girl has her dolls, her visitors, her parties, 
and her housekeeping all in her little play- 
house. They make visits and long journeys, 
receive and entertain an abundance of com- 
pany, and all without going out of the room. 
Fancy is uncurbed and unchecked. But now 
we begin to take that curious thing called the 
mind, to train it. TKe first thing is to teach 
it to give attention. At first this is a very 
difficult task. The little creature looks at the 
letters or on the page of the book, draws the 


breath, sighs, and by the answer to the ques- 
tion shows that the mind and the thoughts 
are not there. So it is even when she be- 
comes a school-girl. She finds that it is hard 
to keep the mind on the book or the lesson. 
It will wander, — it will go home, it will visit 
the play-house, or it will dream of something 
else. Again and again she begins to read 
over the lesson. " Oh ! " says she, " what 
hard lessons ! Did any body ever have such 
hard lessons ? " The difficulty is not in the 
lesson, but in her not commanding her atten- 
tion. Let a story, quite as long as the lesson, 
be told her, and she will give it the closest at- 
tention. And she can repeat it at once. But 
her lesson, she says, she has read over fifty 
times, and cannot get it. The reason is, that 
she has not learned to command her attention, 
and to make the mind obey her. This is 
what the teacher wants to accomplish; and 
there is no way to do this but by continual 
effort, lesson after lesson, trial after trial. 
The mind is like a wild colt at first ; and this 
study is like the halter put on the colt. He 
pulls and chafes and worries at first ; but 


every time he is haltered, he chafes less and 
less, till finally you may lead him where you 
will, and do with him as you please. You 
must never wait to be in a mood for study, 
any more than you would wait for a horse to 
be in a mood to go. To be educated, implies 
that you can take the mind and put it down 
to hard thinking, and hold the mind there as 
long as you please. This is what we mean 
by being able to command your attention. 

The next step is to cultivate the memory^ — 
so that you can remember faces, voices, con- 
versations, events, facts that have taken place, 
and be able to recall them at any moment 
you wish. Some have what we call a strong 
memory. They seem to take hold of any 
thing and hold it as if the memory had steel 
hooks. Others can hardly retain any thing. 
The sieve lets every thing run through it. 
Perhaps no faculty can be more improved by 
training than the memory. A Roman once 
had his memory so cultivated, that he could 
attend an auction all day, and at night tell 
every article that was sold, the order in which 
it was sold, the person who purchased it, 

12 napoleon's memory. 

and the price which he paid. Few have a 
memory like that. But if Alexander could 
call every one of his soldiers by Iiame, if 
Napoleon could remember where every part 
of his vast armies was, and the prices of 
every thing through his empire, so that he 
knew at a glance when he was charged too 
much, we cannot doubt but the memory can be 
vastly improved by cultivation. My own im- 
pression is, that much more attention ought 
to be paid to the improvement of the memory 
than is paid, both at home and in our schools. 
This is not the place to tell how to do this. 
I will here only remark, that to cultivate the 
memory it is absolutely necessary to be per- 
fectly accurate. You are not to remember 
that such a place is about so far off, or such 
an event took place about such a time, or 
that such a thing was once done somewhere 
and by somebody ; but you are to be perfectly 
accurate, as to the event, the time, the place, 
the actor. All other training is very bad for 
the memory. And this faculty comes under 
the work of education. 

Then, after you have learned how to attend^ 


and to remember^ that is, recall accurately 
what you know, you are next to be taught how 
to reason^ how to think. The reason makes 
comparisons between one thing and another. 
You go to select a book, or a new dress, and 
you have to ask and answer many questions. 
Is this the precise book that I am seeking? 
Is it the right edition ? Is the price such that 
my purse can pay for it? Is this the right 
time to buy it ? Ought I to do without it ? 
Is the quality, the color, the style, of this dress 
such as is suitable to my age and position? 
Is it within my means ? Do I need it now, 
and will my parents approve of it? This is 
reasoning. And the judgment is what de- 
cides the answers. But these are small oper- 
ations of the mind, and we wish to educate 
the mind and the understanding so that you 
can gi'apple with more difficult questions ; and 
so we place before the mind, not the colors of 
a dress, but the numbers in the Arithmetic, 
the problems in Algebra, and the demonstra- 
tions in Euclid. You are not educated till 
you have learned to reason in regard to any 
and all subjects, and have an understanding 


that will quickly and properly decide every 
question. You must be able to investigate^ 
and this requires memory and judgment, and 
you must be constantly coming to decisions 
of the judgment. Otherwise you could never 
distinguish between such characters as Wash- 
ington and Benedict Arnold. But we wish 
your mind to be, not only a thing that can 
think and investigate, but that can also en- 
joy. For this purpose we must cultivate 
your taste ^ so that instantly you see, or 
rather feel, what is in good taste and what 
is bad. So that in the wide garden of 
life you may be able to distinguish between 
flowers and weeds, and to cultivate only 
such flowers as are fragrant and beautiful. 
She who can discover what is beautiful in 
history, in eloquence, in poetry, in music or 
in painting, has received a rare gift from edu- 
cation. For this pm-pose, among others, you 
are instructed in composition, in rhetoric, in 
the reading of poetry, and the criticism of 
writers who are immortal. 

In a school or college the amount of knowl- 
edge which is stored away in the mind is not 


much;^ nor of any great value. It is not the 
design to see how much knowledge you can 
lay up, but to see how perfectly we can make 
your mind an instrument able to instruct and 
guide itself. We barely begin the work of 
education while you are at school. Educa- 
tion is to continue, we believe, for ever. 

Then there are other things to be attended 
to, such as your manners, habits, conversa- 
tion, which we shall speak upon hereafter. 
But in speaking of what we wish to accom- 
plish by your education, we must not forget 
to say, or to impress it upon you, that we 
educate the soul for eternity ; that we feel 
that we are far out of the way, and have too 
narrow views, when we think of you as crea- 
tures of earth. We wish your manners to be 
polished, your conversation pure and instruc- 
tive, your countenance lighted up with intel- 
ligence, and your mind bright and awake ; but 
we desire more. We want the heart trained 
to commune with God, and the soul to rise 
up into his light, and to plume her wings for 
the flight of eternal ages. A right education 
embraces that humility which a conscious sin- 


ner ought to feel, that self-denial which the 
Christian spirit ever carries with it, that cheer- 
fulness which Christian hope creates and cher- 
ishes, and that adoration and love of God 
which the opening prospects of eternity in- 
spire. The great questions with the parent 
and the teacher who feels rightly will be, not, 
Will this daughter be beautiful, be admired, 
be prosperous in this world, be long-lived in 
time ? but. Will she be so educated as to make 
the most of all her powers and faculties both 
here and hereafter? Will she understand 
that the mind is as much loftier than the body, 
that knowledge is as much better than wealth, 
as the heavens are superior to earth ? 

The only beings on earth worthy of being 
educated are our sons and our daughters. 
A horse may be educated in a few weeks. 
So can a dog or an ox. But it requires years 
of incessant care and anxiety and labor, to 
unfold and improve the faculties of one child. 
But when the work is done, when that child 
is truly and properly educated, you have a 
jewel polished which will outlive and out- 
shine the sun. We are training up an angel 


for eternity. And if the parent or the child 
thinks that a few months' schooling, or a 
superficial manner of instruction, or the put- 
ting on the outside polish of a few ornamental 
studies, is to educate that mind, they are to be 
pitied for their ignorance. The foundations 
of an education that is worthy of the name 
must be laid very slowly, very carefully, and 
very thoroughly. You may make fashion- 
seekers and fashion-finders without this, but 
you cannot make an educated, cultivated 
woman, fitted to adorn her home, to elevate 
society, stamp her character on others, leave 
the world better than she found it, and one 
whom Jesus Christ will own as his mother or 
his sister. To educate or to be educated, 
even for one daughter, is a work that requires 
all that is good and wise and great to assist 
in accomplishing what is so mighty in re- 



Home Education. The Opening Flower. Parents unfit Teach- 
ers. Private Instruction. All need a Standard. Influence 
of Nunneries. Teaching a Profession. It is a Trial. On a 
larger Scale. A Pleasant Plan. Clothes and Shoes. Long- 
ing to turn back. "Weather changed. Counting the Weeks. 
A Critical Point. Character developing. Best of every 
Thing. Back-bone Work. An Angel's Wing drooping. 

The child is committed by its Maker to its 
parents for training. In ordinary cases, this 
is a sacred and a delightful trust. For the 
first few years of its life, no parent thinks of 
putting his child out from under the influences 
and the care of home. And, were there not 
most weighty reasons, surely the child would 
never be sent away from home till he went 
out to a home of his own, and the daughter 
whose mind and heart just begin to expand 


would not be put into the hands of strangers 
to form her character, were there not some 
very special inducements. The ar^ment for 
a home education is a very strong one. At 
home, we are told, there must be order and 
government, but it is all done through the af- 
fections. The sternness of law is not felt. 
The affections are so warm, that it is not felt 
to be obedience to obey. But in the large 
school it is all one unbending system of rules 
and regulations, cold and stern, without any 
play of the affections. At home, each child 
can be instructed according to its tempera- 
ment and capacity, without coming under the 
regimen adopted for a great number. Plans 
of study, of recreation, and the like, are there 
adapted to the habits and the temperament 
of each, without overlooking any peculiarity, 
physical or mental. At home, there is no ri- 
valry which urges on to efforts beyond the 
strength, or which creates envy and jealousy 
in the heart, or which ends in disappointment. 
There the mental powers can be developed 
slowly and carefully, and the bud can have 
time to open under the genial sun and gentle 


dews. There is no forcing like the hot-bed. 
And there, too, at home, under the eye of love, 
the purity 'of the child can be insured, and she 
is shut away from contamination, and from 
evil associates. There, in the shades of the 
sweet home, may she spend her early days, 
and, screened from the cold world and its 
vices, she can be educated, and thus be pre- 
pared, at the right time, to take her place in 
the world, an ornament to her sex and to her 
station. This is the substance of the argu- 
ment for a strictly home education. And I 
think it has strength ; and yet very few at- 
tempt to do the thing ; and for this there must 
be some urgent reasons. "What are they? 
Or rather, why is the young gii-1 sent away 
among strangers, when so much is at stake, 
and perhaps so much is imperilled? I re- 

Because but few parents are competent to 
educate their children themselves. Amid the 
cares and toils necessary to provide for a fam- 
ily, the parents soon forget the particulars of 
their own education. And, moreover, every 
thing is on the advance. No parent expects 


to send the child out into the world with 
only the education with which the mother 
began. The child lives in a day when she 
wears richer dresses, has better books, better 
food, more travelling, more intercourse with 
society, than her mother had. Who is to in- 
struct her at home ? The mother is incompe- 
tent, and the father probably is likewise ; or if 
not, he is too much occupied in business to 
do it. She must have private teachers, then, 
at home. But here are two difficulties. The 
first is, that few are able to pay the needful 
compensation for the best private teachers. It 
would cost many hundreds of dollars to obtain 
good teachers for a single family : but there is 
a greater difficulty, and that is, they could not 
be had. It is only by having large schools 
that teachers are trained up and qualified; 
and it is only because they here have a field 
so wide, that the first-rate minds can be in- 
duced to become teachers. Reduce all to 
home education, and you would have but few 
good and competent teachers. Large schools 
are, at any rate, necessary to raise them for 
their work. Parents and teachers would both 


soon have narrow views as to the principles 
of education, and, I should fear, would be too 
indulgent and too indolent in applying them. 
The home education, it is said, would make 
them amiable children ; and so it would, but 
the difficulty is, they would be children as 
long as they lived. Some, under this sys- 
tem, and probably the greater part, would 
be satisfied with a low standard, and have 
very little energy of mind ; while the few who 
did study, having no standard, and no way of 
measuring themselves with others, would have 
an overweening idea of thelnselves. Every 
one wants a standard, and all need to be 
measured by others. And it is noticed, that 
those who have a strictly private education 
are apt to over-estimate themselves, if, in any 
measure, successful as students. In a large 
seminary, the young lady soon knows what 
mental application means, and what is a right 
standard of scholarship. She soon knows her 
own proportions. The blind partiality of 
friends does no good now. She noAV has a 
standard of study, of application, and of at- 
tainment, which is entirely new. She now sees 


new methods of imparting instruction. She 
sees what so-called improvements are worth 
preserving, and how the mind of the teacher 
and of the scholar works under a strong pres- 
sure. Then, as to coming in contact with 
temptation, sooner or later, every one must do 
that. It may be put off a few years by home 
seclusion ; but if so, when it does come, it 
comes with great power. It is said that the 
young ladies who are secluded and educated in 
the nunneries of Europe, are the least prepared 
to resist temptations when they come out. 
The mind and the heart must come in contact 
with what is evil, sooner or later. If the heart 
be fortified with early religious principle, you 
may as well meet it in the days of school, as 
ever. We need stimulus and pressm-e, to call 
out mental labor, — the hardest labor in the 
world, — and we cannot get this at home. 
And it is found to be a law almost universal, 
that for perfection there must be, in all the 
departments of life, a division of labor. The 
head of a family does not attempt to shoe 
his own horse, make his own coat, or giind 
his own wheat. He well knows that the 


blacksmith and the tailor and the miller can 
do these things quicker and cheaper than he 
can. He knows, too, that by doing one thing, 
carrying on one kind of business himself, he 
can support his family better than if he at- 
tempted to do every thing. Now teaching 
becomes a profession on this principle ; be- 
cause it is found that those who make it 
then business can accomplish more, and do it 
vastly better, than others ; and by collecting a 
large number of young minds together, you 
can induce the best educated and the best 
qualified minds to become teachers. Each 
parent pays his share of the expense, and he 
thus puts his child into the hands and under 
the care of those who can do for that child 
what he cannot. The teacher can do but 
that one thing. The merchant and the law- 
yer and the farmer say to him. You can in- 
struct my child far better than I can, and 
better than I can afForS to hire teachers un- 
der my own roof. Do you take her, and I 
will pay my share of supporting the estab- 
lishment and of carrying on the school. 
Hence our schools grow out of our necessi- 


ties, and they are large, because a few parents 
are not able to procure all the advantages on 
a small scale. 

This, then, is the reason why the mother 
and the father send their beloved daughter 
away to school, — because they can afford to 
give her so good advantages in no other way. 
It is often very painful to send away the 
child, and to commit her to people, whom, 
perhaps, they have never seen. It is trying 
to send her out exposed to temptations and 
dangers ; but what can they do ? In no other 
way can the child have her mind disciplined, 
have a correct standard of scholarship, and 
learn the make of other minds. Li no other 
way can she be thrown upon her own respon- 
sibility, learn self-denial, self-control, and self- 

The teaching which is within the reach of 
every pupil in a good school, would often cost 
thousands of dollars at home. And besides, 
in a large seminary, there is not only a di- 
vision of labor, but another division scarcely 
less important. One mind is best adapted to 
teach mathematics ; another, the languages ; 


and another still, music or drawing ; and as 
each is supposed to take the post for which he 
is best qualified and adapted, so the advan- 
tages to the pupils are greatly enhanced by 
this arrangement. Thus it is plain, that what- 
ever disadvantages a seminary has, or how- 
ever much we might prefer a home education, 
thfe arguments in favor of going away to 
school greatly preponderate. Add to this, 
that at the seminary you meet with minds 
from all parts of the country, form acquaint- 
ances that last through life, and see human 
nature developed in ways seen nowhere else. 

I have made these remarks that you may 
understand why you go away to school, and 
why those who love you most, thus place 
interests so dear out of their own hands. I 
have hoped too, that, if I could make you see 
the object for which you are sent away to 
school, you would the more readily see what 
duties your new position devolves upon you. 
But let us now see how many — I do not say 
all, for I hope the picture will not suit all — 
but how many a school-girl looks upon this 
subject. When the first mention of her going 


away to school is made, she feels excited, 
and fluttered, and thinks how beautiful it will 
be — to have a new trunk and her clothes so 
nicely packed, and^the new dresses all so com- 
plete; and how beautiful it will be to see 
the school and the new faces, and see how 
they are dressed, and how they behave; and 
how beautiful it will be to take the journey, 
and to write long letters home, and tell of all 
the new things which she sees and hears ; and 
how beautiful it will be to have nothing to do 
but to study, and think, and be educated, and 
excel in music and Latin, drawing and dress- 
ing, and then to come home all educated and 
finished off, ready for whatever may come 
next, — and who can tell what that may be ! 
During the preparations, the discussions about 
clothes and shoes, umbrellas and overshoes, 
inquiries about who is going and how every 
thing appears there, she is in fine spirits. 
All goes well. By and by, however, after the 
new trunk is nearly packed, and a thousand 
hints and admonitions have been dropped by 
the anxious mother, after the very day of 
leaving is appointed, she begins to have other 


feelings come over her. She never went away 
from home before, except on short visits among 
her relatives. And now the fact that she is to 
leave her home, her mother, her brothers and 
sisters, and go away among strangers, comes 
to be a reality. She begins to feel that it is 
not all brightness. There are shadows falling 
upon her spirits. What if they should be 
sick at home? What if death should take 
away any one from that loved circle before she 
returns ? What if she herself should be sick, 
away among strangers ? But the time arrives, 
and though she has slept but little, and can 
eat no breakfast, the hour of parting has 
come, and with a hurried, tearful good-by she 
leaves her home. All the way her thoughts 
return back, saddened and chilled, and she 
wishes she had never consented to go to 
school. She wishes it were possible to turn 
back again, and give it all up. This is going 
to school away from home. 

And now she arrives at the school. But 
how different every thing looks from what she 
expected! Nothing is so pleasant as she had 
anticipated. The teachers look so different! 


And the scholars, — was there ever such a 
homely set gathered together I How cold and 
strange they all look, — all strangers, and all 
very strange strangers ! And now every thing 
looks blue. Nothing seems like home. The 
very weather is changed, and the sun does 
not shine here. The food and cooldng are so 
unlike home ! The sound of the bell seems 
harsh, and the very birds sing as if they were 
reciting. The school-room is a dull, dry place, 
and the very clock ticks as if it was tired. 
She sheds many tears alone, and writes home 
in tones that would not disgrace a martyr. 
O, if she could only now describe her feelings 
and her sufferings, how would she " become 
a thing of dark imaginings, on whom the 
freshness of the heart has ceased to fall like 
dew, whose passions are consuming them- 
selves to dust, and to whom the relief of tears 
seems to be grudged " ! She akeady begins 
to count the weeks when the term will be 
through and she 6an leave this horrid place ! 
When this week is out, and twenty-one 
more, she will be through ! It now becomes 
the great question how she can contrive to 


exist till that time. Ah I if she could annihi- 
late time and space, how quickly would she 
be at home again ! Now, if I could catch the 
attention of this almost martjrred young lady, I 
should like to whisper a few things in her ear. 
I would say to her. My young friend, your 
grandmother went through all this, and lived 
to a good old age ; and your mother lived 
through all this, and I hope she will live as 
long ; and you will live through it all, and if 
nothing else kills you, you will be a young 
lady at the age that Methuselah died. I do 
not blame you for all your sufferings ; but 
now, dry up your tears and let us see what 
you have to do. 

" Thou hast been reared too tenderly, 
Beloved too well and long, 
"Watched by too many a gentle eye ; 
Now look on life, — be strong ! " 

There need be no denial that the first en- 
counter with the new world in which you find 
yourself placed is attended with trials. But 
now, after you understand what is the object 
of being educated, and the reasons why you 


must go from home for the sake of this educa- 
tion, do not spend your time and waste your 
dear sensibilities in mourning that a school is 
not home, that new companions are not old 
friends, that change is not sameness, or that 
you cannot encounter the trials of life and yet 
have no trials. Do not stop now to count your 
fingers, nor to see how sombre you can make 
every thing seem. Now is the time to show 
character, if you have any ; to show courage, 
if you have any ; to show that you have mind 
and thought, if indeed you have them. Now 
you have arrived at a critical point in your 
character. You can now shake off old habits 
and form new ones. You can now set out 
with new courage and new hopes. The shock 
through which you have just passed, like elec- 
tricity, may give all your powers of mind a 
new energy. The object now is, not to count 
the weeks to vacation, nor to see how little 
you can do in a single day or week, but 
to see how much you can really accomplish 
between this and vacation, — how few recita- 
tions you can miss, how many perfect recita- 
tions you can make, how much you can exer- 


cise and task the mind, and how much you 
can do to form, strengthen, and draw out 
your character. Do not lisp now, but speak. 
Do not mince now, but walk. Do not muddle 
over your books, but study. Do not feel that 
you are to be swallowed up and to be a part 
of a great school, but that you have an indi- 
vidual mind to cultivate, and an individual 
character to form. The character you now 
develop will be that which you will carry 
with you through life. The confidence which 
you are to have in yourself, all the way through 
life, will depend on what you are and what 
you do now. The estimation in which you 
are to be held by your schoolmates, all the 
way through life, will depend on what they 
now see you accomplish. K now you array 
yourself against any of the regulations of the 
school, because you do not think them to be 
wise ; if you set yourself to see how very little 
you can bring about ; if you try to feel that 
the teachers have one interest and you an- 
other ; if you try to see how many faults you 
can find in the arrangements of the school; 
and if, on this your first seeing a school, you 


feel competent and called upon to pronounce 
this and that wrong, and are determined to 
see how long a face you can wear, and how 
you can most torment yourself and others, 
you will indeed lose your time, and wonder 
how you fell in with so poor a school ! But 
if you feel determined to make the best of 
every thing,, to take every thing by the smooth 
handle, to see the bright side of every tear, 
and to catch as many warm sunbeams as you 
can, your school-days will be happy, and be 
associated with nothing but what is cheer- 
ful and pleasurable. It is the time for you 
now to be right earnest, for the days and the 
weeks will now come round very rapidly. 
Kemember that every lesson you slight, every 
imperfect recitation you make, is not an in- 
jury upon the teacher which will last, though 
it may annoy him ; but the injury inflicted 
upon yourself will be permanent. In every 
contest with indolence in which you are de- 
feated, in every struggle with difficulties in 
which you are worsted, in every effort made in 
which you do not succeed, you lose gi'ound. 
You are accustoming yourself to be con- 

3 « 

84 AN angel's wing drooping. 

quered. Let it be your ambition now, first to 
secure your own esteem, by diligence and ap- 
plication, and the actual overcoming of dif- 
ficulties, and then the esteem of your teachers, 
by the evidence that you are determined to 
do all that you can, and of your companions, 
by their seeing you making evident progress. 
Away with pining after home! now is not 
the time for that ; it is the time ^of action. 
Away with sentimentalism ! you need a back- 
bone now. Away with discontentment ! you 
now have the best opportunity which money, 
care, anxiety, and experience can afford you, 
for improvement. It will be your misfortune 
if you have too little mind to be educated, 
your folly if you fail through negligence, and 
your guUt if you fail through wilful perverse 

" Wake ! ere the earth-born charm unnerve thee quite, 
And be thy thoughts to work divine addressed ; 
Do something, do it soon, with all thy might ; 
An angel's wing would droop if long at rest. 
And God himself inactive were no longer blest. 
Some high or humble enterprise of good 
Contemplate till it shall possess thy mind, 


Become thy study, pastime, rest, and food, 

And kindle in thy heart a flame refined ; 

Pray Heaven for firmness thy whole soul to bind 

To this thy purpose, to begin, pursue. 

With thoughts all fixed and feelings purely kind, 

Strength to complete, and with delight review, 

And grace to give the praise where all is ever due." 



The Great Trial. Trunks full. Nothing forgotten. A Va- 
cant Stare. Two Thirds lost. Memory wanting. Xeno- 
phon's Retreat. All need Judgment. Learn to discrimi- 
nate. Best Taste in Town. Select the Best. Knowledge 
running away. Loose Change. Where to look. Society 
of a Lapdog. Not a Short Job. Iron-hearted Bell. Habit 
of Toil. 

Every one who goes to school knows that, 
for some reason or other, the object is to 
study. But many seem to know nothing as 
to why they must study, or how to do it. I 
am sorry to say, too, that many parents seem 
as ignorant as their daughters. They know 
that other people send their daughter to school, 
and that before she arrives at that most impor- 
tant age of eighteen, or when she is " brought 
out," it is necessary to be able to say that she 


was educated at this or that celebrated insti- 
tution. They fail in their plans and in their 
conversation to impress -upon her the real ob- 
ject of her going from home to be educated. 
They talk much about what she needs as to 
dress, in order to appear well, and they talk 
over the privations she will endure, and the 
trials she must meet, but the great trial, that 
of study, they hardly mention. 

Suppose now we were in some nook, ouj- 
selves unseen, where we could hear the con- 
versation at the breakfast-table, between a 
judicious, sensible father and his daughter, 
who is about leaving home for school. 

" Well, daughter," says he, in a cheerful 
tone, " I suppose you have every thing ready 
to start, — trunks, bandboxes, umbrellas, and 

" Yes, father, I believe so. My trunks are 
all full, and I thought I never could crowd in 
my new de laine, the two new silk dresses, the 
cream-colored merino, the purple alpaca, and 
my twelve aprons. But by great efforts moth- 
er and I pressed them in, though I am afraid 
they will be terribly rumpled. Then I have 
the three bandboxes besides." 


" Indeed ! I should think you were fitting 
out for the tour of Europe. But these are not 
what comes within my province. But there 
is one thing I am very desirous to have you 
carry, and which, if you are not very careful, 
will be left behind." 

" Why, I am sure I have forgotten nothing. 
We have put up every -thing we could think 
of, even to the boxes of hair-pins." 

" No doubt ; no doubt. But have you any- 
where packed away a correct idea of the 
object for which you go, and how you are to 
accomplish that object ? You go in order to 
study ; but do you know why you study and 
how to study ? " 

" No, father, and I wish you would tell me." 

" Well, then, forget the crowded trunks and 
the haJT-pins for the present, and I will try to 
tell you. Now you must be patient and at- 
tentive, for I shall be what you call * awfully 

" The objects of study, then, are these : — 

" 1. To give you power to command the at- 
tention. Till we have made many and long- 
continued efforts, this is no easy matter. You 


sometimes undertake to read a book,' and 
while your eye runs over the pages or the 
lines of the page, the mind and the thoughts 
are off upon something else ; and when you 
reach the bottom of the page, you know noth- 
ing of what you have been reading. When 
you are in conversation with another person, 
it often happens that you lose whole sen- 
tences, and have to assent to what he has said, 
though you know not what it is. Have yoa 
never found it so, my daughter ? " 

The young lady looked up v/ith a vacant 
stare, and nodded her head in assent, though 
the fact was that she had scarcely heard a 
word of what her father had said ; for the mo- 
ment the words " command the attention " 
were uttered, her thoughts had been wander- 
ing off to a small party which she had at- 
tended, and where she was sure she had the 
power to command the attention of a certain 
young gentleman, who wore young wliiskers 
and a yellow vest. Thus she was uncon- 
sciously illustrating the need of which hex 
father was speaking. 

"2. A second object cf study is to give you 


the power to hold the mind down to a subject 
or to a point, as long as is necessary. In do- 
ing a long sum in arithmetic, in demonstrat- 
ing a difficult problem in Euclid, or in evolv- 
ing a complicated question in algebra, you 
must hold the mind down to the point, and 
hold it there till you understand it and can 
explain it to others. When you write a let- 
ter, or a composition, you want the power to 
hold the mind or the thought till you know 
what to say and how to say it. How many 
people lose almost the whole of a lecture, or a 
sermon, or a public speech, because they can- 
not hold their minds fast till it is through I 
Perhaps two thirds of every sermon, and of 
every lecture and every valuable public effort 
of mind, are lost for the want of this power. It 
is the want of it that makes it so difficult for 
the school-girl to master her lesson. And it 
is to be acquired only by severe and contin- 
ued application of the mind. 

" 3. The third object of study is to strength- 
en the memory. 

" You knov7 that some men are rich in con- 
versation, welcomed everywhere, and their 


society eagerly sought, because they have 
at their command history, books, beautiful 
thoughts and great thoughts, all held fast by 
the memory, and all ready to be used at any 
time ; while other men, who have read quite 
as much, are dry and barren of thought, and 
almost dull ; they cannot recall any thing, they 
are sure of no fact, they are afraid to be ques- 
tioned about any date. Such a mind is a 
sliding plane, down which every thing hurries, 
and with no power to draw it up." 

" But, father, I have a good memory now. 
I can tell over every story I read, and can al- 
most repeat the whole of that delightful new 
novel in the last Saturday's Post." 

" Very likely. But suppose I should ask 
you to trace the route which Xenophon in his 
famous retreat followed, or to give me the 
date of the Magna Charta of England, or pe- 
riod of Cromwell's government, or the date of 
the Reformation in Europe, what says your 
memory then ? " 

" Ah, you surely do not expect me to re- 
member every thing." 

" No, I should be sorry to have you remem- 


ber every thing ; but ' surely,' as you say, you 
ought to remember many ; and you ought to 
remember facts, and not fiction ; the history 
of human deeds, human efforts, and human 
sufferings, and not imaginary deeds and the 
sufferings of imaginary heroes and heroines. 
At school, you are made to store up dry facts, 
history, definitions, and 'a thousand things, 
for the very purpose of strengthening the 

" 4. The fourth object of study is to strength- 
en the judgment. 

" In all the departments of life, we need a 
balanced judgment. For the want of it, 
households are made wretched, homes are 
made unpleasant, property is squandered, 
character is never obtained, and life is almost 
lost. No lady can make a custard or a 
cooky, a jelly or a garment, spread a table or a 
cradle, without it, nor can a man well provide 
for his family, accomplish much in business, 
or gain in property or influence. It is an every- 
day commodity, and no day can be a happy 
one without its abundant exercise. The laun- 
dress needs it to make your clothes white and 


neat. The milliner and the tailor need it to 
fit our garments. The cook needs it to pre- 
pare our food. The teacher needs it in order 
to instruct, the sailor to guide his ship, the 
merchant to invest his money in goods, the 
physician to prepare his medicines. The law- 
yer needs it to make out his case, and the min- 
ister to prepare his sermons. If we wished to 
cultivate your judgment in cooking, in house- 
keeping, in sewing or needle-work, at this 
time, we should retain you at home and give 
you the opportunity to learn the theory and 
the practice. K it were our object to cultivate 
your judgment as to any thing external, we 
should not send you to school. But we want 
to cultivate your judgment as to thought and 
mind, as to what is valuable and what is 
worthless in that vast repository which the 
human mind has left to us. We want to cul- 
tivate your judgment so that you can know 
what is argument and what is sophistry; 
what is proved and what is asserted ; what is 
true and what is only plausible ; what is evi- 
dence and what is not to be admitted. We 
want you to judge correctly as to what peo- 


pie can do and what they cannot ; what they 
will be likely to do, and what they will not. 
It is to give you the power to discriminate 
between wisdom and folly, light and twilight, 
real jewels and those that are false, things 
valuable to the mind and the memory, and 
things useless. 

" 5. The fifth object of study is to cultivate 
the taste. 

" People naturally differ much as to the 
possession of this power or faculty. One in- 
dividual has a certain taste which makes 
her lady-like in her dress and address, while 
another is so deficient that she can in no 
possible circumstances deserve the title of 

" But, father, I have this quality already. 
Every body says I 've the best taste in town. 
They all come to me to advise about their 
dresses, and all say my taste is so good ! " 

" Very probably. I should myself be will- 
ing to trust your taste to select a few yards of 
ribbon, or a dress for a child, and very likely 
a pocket-handkerchief for your father. But 
suppose you were called upon to select a 


library for a village or for a Sabbath school, 
or a wardrobe to be sent to a friend in Asia, 
would you feel that your taste is sufficiently 
cultivated ? Or suppose a company should 
invite you to select and read a portion from 
Milton or Cowper or Shakspeare, are you pre- 
pared ? Suppose fifty or sixty manuscripts 
written in a seminary, for a prize, were put 
into your hands to select the two best, are 
you qualified to do it ? Or suppose, left des- 
titute, you were compelled to instruct others 
for your support, could you select the books 
to be studied, and especially, if your pupils 
were advanced, the books to be read by them ? 
You see that to have a good taste in judging 
of a good dinner, or a charming tea, or a rich 
dress, is a very different thing from a taste 
cultivated so as to be able to judge what 
is a beautiful thought, and what is disagree- 
able ; what is a strong and elegant figure of 
speech, and what is weak and inappropriate ; 
what is chaste and beautiful language, and 
what is bombastic and out of place. These 
are the things which are learned, little by Ht- 
tle, at a good school, by the guidance of the 


teachers, and by coming in contact with 
others. It is not to be created by rules and 
text-books, but by constant examples of what 
is in good taste and what is not. 

" 6. The sixth object of study is to store the 
mind with knowledge, or to teach it where to 
find what it wants. 

" In the course of the time necessary to dis- 
cipline the mind so as to caU it educated, 
you will have a vast amount of knowledge 
poured into the mind. Some of it will stay, 
but the greater part will run directly through 
and be lost. Still, the waters leave a tinge in 
the channel, and the banks through which 
they passed are richer than before. But at 
the completion of the course of study, you 
have new and enlarged and corrected views. 
You stand on a higher point of ground, and 
can see farther in every direction. You have 
also saved a great many things that are valu- 
able. They are in the mind, not like drift-wood 
upon the shore, strewed anywhere ; but they 
are stored away in the mind, in their appropri- 
ate places, labelled, numbered, and ready for 
use whenever wanted. This, to be sure, is 


not the greatest object of an education. It is 
only incidental ; but it has great value. But 
where your own stored resources stop and 
fail, you need not stop. The knowledge which 
you have in the mind is the loose change, to 
be used as called for on small occasions ; but 
the bank upon which you are to draw is inex- 
haustible. You know where to go for ma- 
terials of thought, of composition, or of in- 
formation. You know what histories of the 
past are best ; you know how to make a good 
index of a volume yield you a great amount 
of information in a short time. You know 
how to make your author do the most pos- 
sible for you in a short time. You know 
how to shake the tree in order to obtain the 
ripest fruit. You know from which bottle 
to obtain the most exquisite odors from 
the condensed extracts within. K you want 
to know a fact in the life of Buonaparte, 
you know how and where to find it with- 
out reading the volume through. If you 
are expecting to meet a descendant of a great 
man, you know where to find a brief ac- 
count of that man, so that you can con- 


verse concerning him to advantage, with 
pleasure to him, and with profit to yourself. 
And here I cannot help saying, that, if every 
one who expects to go into company on a 
particular evening would go to books and 
obtain one valuable thought, and use it, giv- 
ing the name of the author if he saw fit, 
the individuals would, every one, be more re- 
spected, and the company be saved the mor- 
tification of saying all the small, light, and 
fooKsh things possible. In a world contain- 
ing the thoughts and the beautiful creations 
of all the past, the man or the woman who 
cannot carry to the common gathering at least 
one valuable thought ought not to be toler- 
ated. Not long since, I overheard a gentle- 
man roundly asserting (he had read it in a 
penny newspaper that afternoon) to a lady, 
that Lord Bacon was not a great man, — 
only second or third rate. And the lady said, 
* Indeed,' and looked pleased, and vacant, 
and had no more to say in the defence of that 
immortal mind, than if he had said that West- 
phalia hams and bacon are pretty much the 
same thing. An educated young lady who 



will cry, ' Indeed! ' when puppies thus dig on 
the graves of giants, and say, ' There 's nothing 
worth scratching for here,' ought to have no 
society more intellectual than a lap-dog with 
a blue ribbon about his neck. 

" 7. One more object to be mentioned is to 
create habits of patient toil. 

" If a man has a field of grass to mow, or a 
wheel to build, or if a lady has an article to 
sew, or a nice cake to make, each one can 
see, at every step, there is progress made. 
Each feels that it is but a short job, and then 
it will be done. But in study, the results of 
a day's labor are seen to be so small, if seen 
at all, that there is nothing to cheer. You 
cannot show what you have accomplished. 
You can see that the hill looks higher and 
steeper, and that you have climbed hard all 
the day, but you cannot see any progress. 
You can see that to-morrow will be like 
to-day ; and that it is toil, toil, from day 
to day, and from week to week, without 
much, if any, apparent advance. It is un- 
mitigated labor. You do not have the lux- 
ury of the sweat of the brow, as in bodily 


toil. How much patience is needed to get 
one lesson in Latin, or to make a single good 
recitation in algebra ! Now you must multi- 
ply this toil as many times over as you have 
lessons. In the course of a week, and a year, 
how much is the patience exercised ! And 
this toil, this perseverance, this endurance of 
what is hard and what we naturally dislike, 
is the very discipline which we must meet all 
the way through life. Toil, patient toil, is 
our lot, and there is no place where the young 
can learn it so well as at school. At home, 
the young lady will now and then make an 
effort, — she will take some extra steps or 
stitches, and perhaps for a few hours or days 
will really toil. But these seasons are excep- 
tions. She visits, she has company, she sews 
when she pleases, reads when she feels like it, 
and thinks when she cannot help it. There 
is no system of patient toil. There is no rigid, 
unyielding bell, that has no bowels of com- 
passion, and nothing human about it but a 
tongue, calling for punctuality, for study, and 
for attainment. But at school, lesson follows 
lesson. You may yawn or you may weep, 


but there is no escape. There comes the 
hour, and your class will be there, and you 
must be on hand and ready, or you lose your 
standing. Every day impresses the habit of 
toil upon you, till eventually, strange as it 
may seem, it becomes easy, and finally pleas- 
ant. It is not merely that you can study, can 
apply the mind, and can conquer your les- 
sons, but you have the habit of doing so. 
Hence it is, that the girl who has been the 
longest at school, and has done most to ac- 
quire this habit, finds it much easier to study 
than those who lack this habit." 

" O father, you don't mean to keep me at 
school till I have got such a habit of study 
that I shall love the toil, do you ? " 

" That will depend on cncumstances. I 
am now showing you what you study for, — 
the object of studying at all. And I believe I 
have given you enough for once." 

" Yes, indeed, but after all, you have not 
told me how to study. That 's what I want 
to know." 

" That we must discuss at our next break- 



Witch Stories. The Question proposed. Study dry Work. 
Look it out again. Bishop Jewel's Memory. Conquer, 
step by step. A High Standard. A Finished Young Lady. 
Capacity wanted. Chain the Attention. Author of this 
Mischief. Dr. Gregory. Ship obeying the Helm. Alge- 
bra forgotten. Waters filtered. Cambridge and Oxford. 
Taste cultivated. Duty become Pleasure. 

In our nursery books, we read of seven- 
leagued boots, with which a man can take 
twenty miles at a step ; and we have heard of 
halters by which witches turned their hus- 
bands into horses, and in a single night could 
drive them over continents ; and strange tales 
are told at twilight, of rooks as large as a 
church, whose flight darkened the air, and in 
whose claws a man might be carried over 
oceans: and children have trembled at the 


thought of cannon into which a weary travel- 
ler might creep for lodgings, and at daylight 
find that he had been shot into a foreign 
country, where were strange faces and an un- 
known language : but we have never yet read 
of a machine which could make the ignorant 
mind cultivated and refined, without toil and 
hard labor. There are no seven-leagued boots 
that enable us to go through all the limits of 
science, and gather all the rich fruits there 
found, in a single day. There is no halter 
that can subdue the wandering attention, and 
discipline the imagination, in a few hours. 
There is no one who can have a cultivated 
and well-disciplined mind without personal 
labor and great effort. You may acquire ease 
of manners, and a superficial character, very 
easily ; but you cannot think, or have a mind 
capable of judging and deciding rightly, with- 
out hard study. But how shall I study? How 
learn ? How do the thing required ? I shall 
spend this chapter in the attempt to tell you. 

1. Make up your mind that study is hard 

Many things make it hard. Any thing to 


which we are unaccustomed is difficult. It is 
tiresome to sit down and remain in the same 
position, to confine the attention, to control 
the wandering thoughts, to take hold of a 
thing that is new and which you do not 
understand, to grapple with difficulties con- 
stantly arising. It is not like walking, when 
you can see just how fast you move, and see 
that every step sets you onward ; it is not like 
your sewing, when you can see that every 
stitch makes one less ; it is not like any 
labor of .the body. It is dry work, and some- 
times it is cry-work. You would not need 
teachers to urge and assist you, parents to en- 
courage you, classes to incite you, school- 
mates to watch you and compete with you, 
and the bell to admonish you every half-hour, 
if it were not hard work. Expect then that 
every lesson will require hard application ; 
that there are no pillows of down for the 
mind in study, but at every step it must be 
girded up, goaded to effort, and pushed on to 

2. Go over your lesson again and again. 

If you have a translation to recite, a prop- 


osition to demonstrate, an explanation to 
give, go over it as many times as possible. 
Sometimes you have a new word to translate 
from the Latin, German, or French. You 
look it out in the Dictionary, and yet, in a 
few minutes, it has passed from your memory. 
What shall you do? Simply look it out 
again and again, and as often as is necessary. 
A distinguished professor of languages in 
one of our colleges has been heard to say, 
that he has looked out a single word in his 
lexicon over fifty times ! When we teach a 
child his letters, he can hardly confine his at- 
tention for a moment, and we depend on rep- 
etition to fix the word permanently in his 
mind. I cannot speak too highly of review- 
ing the same lesson over and over again. 
Were I to instruct, I might err in -reviewing 
too much, if that is possible. At any rate, I 
should repeat the same lesson very often. 
But in learning your lesson you will be in no 
danger of going over it too many times. 
Once will not make you master of it, nor will 
twice. When you hear a young lady say 
that she can get her lesson by reading it over 

56 BISHOP jewel's memory. 

once or twice, you may feel sure she has not 
got it, or if she has, it will not stay long with 
her. What comes quickly goes quickly. And 
do not feel discouraged, if, at first, and for 
years, the mind moves slowly. K you will 
faithfully go over the lesson, again and again, 
you will find that your memory wdll grow ac- 
curate and reliable. " Bishop Jewel had natu- 
rally a very strong memory, which he so im- 
proved by art, that he could exactly repeat 
whatever he wrote after once reading. Bish- 
op Hooper once, to try him, wrote about forty 
"Welsh and Irish words. Mr. Jewel, going 
a little while aside, and recollecting them in 
his memory, and reading them twice or thrice 
over, said them by heart, backward and for- 
ward, exactly in the same order they were set 
down. And he taught his tutor, Mr. Park- 
hurst, the same art." 

3. Resolve to understand every lesson as 
far as you go. 

Some have the idea that, if they do not 
quite see through this lesson, they shall the 
next, and that will do quite as well. Be sure 
that every unconquered difficulty will, by and 


by, become an enemy behind you, and will 
be exceedingly annoying. In mastering one 
hard lesson to-day, you conquer half a dozen 
for the future. You teach the mind to be 
careful and patient, and you acquue the prin- 
ciples which are to be applied hereafter. The 
lesson may be a dry one, or a difficult one. 
No matter. Determine that you will conquer 
it, and understand all that can be known 
about it. A distinguished scholar says he 
owes his success to the faithful observance of 
his rule, always to believe that whatever 
could be done by any person, could, if he 
would take sufficient pains, be done by him. 
It is probably no harder for you to sit down 
and thoroughly understand a lesson, than it 
was once for the* mind that made your text- 
book, or than for the teacher who disciplined 
his mind by study so as to be qualified to in- 
struct you. None find any other way to be- 
come scholars but to understand each and 
every lesson as they go along. To say that I 
have my task so that I can recite pretty well, 
or so that my teacher will not find fault, is not 
enough. If you find, after using all your 



own efforts, that there is any thing you can- 
not understand, then ask for aid from those 
who can render it, but do not leave it till the 
obstacle is removed. Every such negligence 
will be a great trouble to you hereafter. 
4. Do not undertake too many studies. 
If there is any one thing which prevents 
our daughters from receiving a thorough edu- 
cation, it is the feeling, among parents and 
daughters, that one must be educated, fin- 
ished, accomplished and polished and com- 
plete, and all must be done by the time she is 
about eighteen years old. In order to do this, 
the school must be a kind of mental hot-bed. 
She must understand all the English branches, 
of course, and the parents will be very much 
gratified if they can say she studied Latin 
and German and Italian and French, of 
course. Yea, she spoke it with a native 
teacher. And then she must be familiar with 
algebra ; geometry must be at her tongue's 
end; she must be at home in history and 
criticism ; she must take music-lessons, and 
sing divinely ; she must draw in crayon, and 
paint in water and oU colors; she must 


learn to read and write blank verse, — to say 
nothing about dancing and love ; — all this 
before she is eighteen. This to be sure is 
something ; but in our boyhood we heard of 
an old lady in Connecticut, who washed and 
baked and brewed, made soap and a cheese, 
and read the Bible through, all in one day ! 
We wonder if some of these young ladies who 
are such intellectual prodigies may not be re- 
lated to her. By the time our boys are fitted 
and qualified to go to college, and begin then* 
education, our daughters must have theirs all 
completed ; and they must not only stop at 
the given time and place, but they must have 
gone over all that is thought necessary to a 
minute, thorough, full, accomplished, fashion- 
able, essential and non-essential education. 
The lady who inquired of the teacher what 
more her daughter wanted, and was told, 
" Nothing, Madam, but a capacity," and who 
replied, " Well, get her one, for her father is 
rich and able to pay for it," was right, if we 
only knew where the article is to be had. In 
college, we never attempt to carry on more 
than three studies at once : but om' young 


ladies will take more than twice that number, 
and make — nothing of them ! Were we to 
advise, we would never have the mind tasked 
with more than three at once. By taking too 
many, you distract the mind, and by turning 
from one subject to another too often, weary 
and exhaust it. " John Williams, an English 
prelate, used to allot one month to a certain 
province of learning, esteeming variety almost 
as refreshing as cessation from labor, at the 
end of which he would take up some other 
matter, and so on till he came round to his 
former courses. This method he observed 
especially in his theological studies, and he 
found his account in it." In amusements we 
want change often. But in study, if we get 
the mind turned in a particular direction for a 
time, we want to keep it there till it has ob- 
tained strength. 

5. Wlien engaged in study^ give all your 
attention to it. 

This is a very hard thing to do. You sit 
down determined to learn that lesson well. 
Before you are aware of it, your thoughts are 
somewhere else. A figure in the dress of a 


schoolmate, the color of a bright ribbon on 
her neck, a stray lock of hair, the rustling of 
a paper, the striking of a clock, the scratch- 
ing of a pen, any noise, any movement, 
may divert your attention and turn off your 
thoughts. You bring them back to the lesson 
and begin again. Before long they are off 
again, — you are at home, you are conversing 
with your friends, you are in company, you 
are among belles and beaux, small talk and 
all talk. Now again you try to bring the 
mind back to the hard, dry lesson. And how 
reluctantly does it come I The lesson grows 
harder every moment, and you sigh, " What 
a tedious lesson ! Did any poor creature ever 
have to study so hard before ? were there ever 
such strict teachers ? " And so you feel ready 
to quarrel with your lesson, and with your 
teachers, with the school, and with any body 
and every body but the very author of all this 
mischief, yourself! When you sit down to 
that lesson, determine that you will give the 
mind so wholly to it, that you will hear 
nothing, see nothing, care for nothing, till you 
have conquered the task. Let the paper 


rustle, the clock strike, curly locks go astray, 
but do not let them disturb you. But, 
above all, do not permit your thoughts to 
wander to things at a distance, — building 
castles in the air, or thinking how delightful 
it would be to be here or to be there, how 
pleasant to do this or do that. One thing 
at a time. Down, down with your mind and 
courage to that lesson. Give all your soul to 
it for the present. Chain the attention, the 
thoughts, all to it, and you will soon feel that, 
by the wrestling, you have acqmred strength. 
Dr. Gregory says : " With a few exceptions 
(so few, indeed, that they need scarcely to be 
taken into a practical estimate), any person 
may learn any thing' upon which he sets his 
heart. To insure success, he has simply so 
to discipline his mind as to check its vagran- 
cies, to cure it of its constant proneness to 
be doing two or more things at a time, and to 
compel it to direct its combined energies, 
simultaneously, to a single object, and thus to 
do one thing' at once. This I consider as one 
of the most difficult, but one of the most use- 
ful, lessons a young person can learn." One 


reason why the memory of the blind is so 
tenacious is probably that, not being diverted 
by objects surrounding them, they can con- 
centrate their attention firmly and fixedly. 
Nor need this become wearisome, for you will 
rest often. The school exercises will be so 
arranged that every hour, or perhaps every 
half-hour, you will be released. Professional 
men have every week to sit down with the 
pen in hand, and bend the mind, and task all 
their powers, and write three hours at a time, 
without rising from the chair, or laying down 
the pen. I would wilKngly engage thus to sit 
and labor three hours daily, for seven days in 
the week, if that would accomplish all I feel 
bound to do ; and surely a young lady can 
give her mind and her attention to her lesson 
for half an hour, when she knows that at the 
end of that time she will be released. 

6. Study any tiling that is assigned to you 

How often do you hear scholars say, and 
they think it oftener than they express their 
dissatisfaction, " This study will be of no 
possible use to me ; in after life I shall never 


use it, and why must I study it now ? " 
Whenever this discontent arises, you forget 
the objects of study as illustrated in the 
last chapter. Very liliely you may never 
be called to use the particular study ; but you 
do not study for the sake of the knowledge 
you lay up in your memory ipv future use, 
but more especially for the purpose of dis- 
ciplining the mind, — teaching it how to 
think, to discriminate, to acquu-e, to call up 
and to use its own powers. You are teach- 
ing the ship to obey the helm hereafter. You 
are gaining power over your own attention 
and thoughts. You are learning to control 
your powers and faculties at your will. If 
the study of mathematics, languages, or ma- 
gic, will do that, then study these. The ner- 
vous child mififht be set to hold a 2old watch 
with care, not because he will be called upon, 
in after life, to hold gold watches for any 
length of time, but because it aids him to 
control himself, and it teaches him to be care- 
ful. We make the colt draw the bush around 
the field, not because it will be his future em- 
ployment to draw bushes, but because we 


wish to teach him to draw, and not to be 
frightened at what is to come after him. You 
may, or you may not, wish to instruct other 
minds hereafter; but whether you do or not, 
every lesson which you now thoroughly un- 
derstand will be of use all the way through 
life. We care not whether vou ever see an 
algebra again after you have mastered it. 
The benefits of studying it do not depend on 
the question whether you ever again see those 
problems which now cost you so many hours 
of patient labor. The solutions may not re- 
main, but the benefit of having con([uercd 
these difficulties will not pass away. 

The waters that have been thoroughly 
filtered remain pure, though the filter is no 
longer used. So that, whatever study is 
thought best for you to pursue, take hold of 
it cheerfully, and let no foolish notion that it 
will not be useful in life prevent your doing 
that study full justice. 

7. Select those studies ivhich are best to 
strengthen the mind. 

Young ladies who are brought up in good 
society will have abundant opportunities to 


improve their taste and to cultivate and re- 
fine their manners. But if they neglect to 
strengthen the faculties of the mind at school, 
they can never do it. To do this, they can 
use mental arithmetic. Scarcely any exercise 
can be more valuable than the practice which 
enables you to carry accurately long processes 
of addition or multiplication " in the head." 
And we must confess that we take great de- 
light in hearing a young lady recite well in 
algebra, and in Euclid, and if they could and 
would go on to the higher mathematics, we 
should be still more pleased. For there is no 
study, which, on the whole, is so good to 
strengthen the mind as mathematics. In 
studying Latin or Greek, you acquire a dis- 
criminating power over language, and learn 
what is the force, position, and strength of 
words. In m.ental philosophy you learn how 
the mind works ; but to teach it to work, and 
how to work hard, give us mathematics. 
Though it may be that Cambridge and Ox- 
ford, so long rivals, and so eagerly contending 
for preeminence, one devoting the strength in 
mathefmatics and the other ranldng the dead 


languages as of the first importance, have at 
last decided rightly, when each tries to unite 
both branches of study. 

As to what are called accomplishments, — 
they doubtless have their use and their place. 
But whether they compensate for the im- 
mense amount of time spent on them is an- 
other question. For example, I have often 
thought that, if half the time spent in learning 
to draw and to paint were spent, under a 
competent teacher, in learning how to judge 
of paintings and drawings, how to discrimi- 
nate and enjoy what is really beautiful, it 
would be far more advantageous to most 
young ladies. To be a poor artist is not very 
desirable ; but to be a good judge of the works 
of art, is a very high and pleasurable accom- 
plishment ; and I am somxctimes led to wish 
that the same expense, which is frequently 
laid out in teaching the young ladies of a 
seminary to draw and paint, could be laid out 
in procuring beautiful pictures, with a real art- 
ist to come in for a few days each term and 
lecture upon them, and teach how to judge 
and how to enjoy good paintings, drawings, 


and engravings. I am not sure that the ex- 
periment would not command the approba- 
tion of the wisest and best. How many learn 
to appreciate beautiful poetry who never try 
to write a line of verse ! 

You will see from what I have said, that 
study is a thing which no one can do for you. 
Authors may prepare good text-books, carpen- 
ters may make pleasant desks and beautiful 
rooms for study, and teachers may be ready 
to aid and encourage you, and, after all, no- 
body can study for you. It is the toil of the 
brain, and it must be done by yourself alone. 
It will always be hard, but easier the more 
and longer that you study. God has so made 
us, that the duty which is at first unpleasant 
will become easier and lighter, till at last it is 
a positive pleasure. The first rounds of the 
ladder are the most difficult to mount. The 
first part of the estate is the most difficult to 
obtain. The first few days of a journey are 
the most wearisome. By every effort you 
make, by every difficulty you overcome, by 
every successful bending of the mind and at- 
tention to your lesson, you are acquking 



power and laying np strength for future 
years. You cannot become a scholar, nor 
can you discipline your mind, in a day ; but 
every day you can take a step forward, and if 
faithful to yourself, you can learn, while at 
school, how to make your mind an obedient 
and a willing servant to the will, how to 
quarry out beautiful and polished stones from 
the deep earth, and how to create, for the soul, 
a palace of truth, of light, and of joy. 



Power of Oratory. Constant Impression. Almost a Nun, 
Poor Eelations forgotten. Small Coin of Life. Professor 
Francke's Advice. Crows' Nests. A Beautiful Compari- 
son. The always Miserable. Mirth and Cheerfulness. 
Wliat you wiU desire to recall. Severest Punishment. 
Out of our own Shadow. School-girls not Matrons. One 
Burden lightened. Desperate Intimacies. Carry Sun- 
shine with you. Not afraid of Responsibility. 

The tongue was given us as a means of 
pleasure, of mental and moral improvement. 
The. human voice is the most powerful instru- 
ment to move the soul, so far as we know, 
that ever came from the hand of God. And 
the mightiest power which this instrument 
can exert is in speech. The utterance of mu- 
sic can thrill to a very high degree ; but there 
are only a very few who are greatly moved 


by it- It requires a peculiar organization of 
the human body to feel the full power of mu- 
sic. But every body is carried away by the 
orator. He can move and sway the heart, 
and thus the feelings, the mind, the actions, 
and the whole man, as no songster can ever 
do. There is no voice that will -startle or 
move you lilie the voice of human agony. In 
our daily social intercourse, we use the voice 
as the great instrument by which to com- 
municate our thoughts and feelings. This 
includes the words uttered, the tones and ca- 
dences of the voice, and the countenance of 
the speaker. It is the shortest and silrest 
method by which one mind can reach and 
communicate with another. And conversa- 
tion, which usually includes all our social 
intercourse with one another, is ahvays and 
at aU times for good or for evil. You make 
a constant impression of some kind or other 
on all with whom you come in contact. 

One of the difficulties of the school-girl, 
in regard to this subject, is, that she feels no 
responsibility in regard to her social inter- 
course with her companions. To be sure, 


she would not insult an instructor, and she 
would not be rude and unlady-like before 
visitors, and she would not be untidy in her 
personal appearance in the school-room, but 
in private, when with none but her mates, 
may she not throw off responsibility and say 
and do what she pleases ? I reply, Yes, if she 
pleases to say and to do only what is proper 
and becoming. Some young ladies, on going 
to school and meeting new-comers, are fond 
of entertaining their new friends with doleful 
accounts of their personal sufferings, — what 
unheard of sacrifices they are making to at- 
tend school ; what very fine houses and furni- 
ture, horses and dresses, they are leaving be- 
hind; what genteel society they have moved 
in ; and how awful it is thus to be shut away 
and secluded in the crowded room of the 
school! She seems to repine most of all, if 
she could only express herself, that she finds 
a new standard of measurement in her new 
position, that houses and fm'niture, horses, 
dresses, and even admirers, are nothing here ; 
but is she a scholar ? Has she mind and 
diligence, industry and a desire to improve ? 


Some want to talk only about themselves, 
and what pertains to themselves. And per- 
haps selfishness, the most unpardonable self- 
ishness in the world, is manifested in our 
daily social intercourse. We want to spend 
the time in talking about ourselves or our 
gi'eat and rich friends, but say very little 
about our poor relations, though every body 
has poor relations, however high they may 
carry their heads. It is a great talent to be 
able to be agreeable in conversation. The great 
secret of it is to be willing to forget yourself, 
and try to please others. " To hear patiently 
and to answer precisely," says Rochefoucault, 
" are the great perfections of conversation. 
One reason why we meet so few persons who 
are reasonable and agreeable in conversation 
is, that there is scarcely any one who does 
not think more of what he has to say than 
of answering what is said to him." When 
you hear another talk, do not try to think 
what you are to say when he stops. Fix 
your mind and keep your mind on what he 
is saying, and your reply will come of itself, 
if you have any reply. The great secret of 


making others happy in our intercourse with 
them is to forget ourselves entirely, and let 
all our interests, for the time, be swallowed up 
in theirs. " Our happiness depends less upon 
the art of pleasing than upon a uniform dis- 
position to please. The difference is that 
which exists between ceremony and sin- 
cerity." It is not merely for the sake of pass- 
ing your. time, or of being entertained, that 
you have intercourse one with another. But 
you wish to make it an influence in sweet- 
ening the disposition, cultivating your kind 
feelings, and drawing out your benevolence. 
It is the small coin of life, no one piece of 
which is of very great value, but with it we 
make vastly more purchases than with our 
bank-notes and heavy gold. It is in the 
power of most school-girls to learn more 
about conversation at school, as well as about 
books, ,than anywhere else. Here you are 
equals : and every one has the power of di- 
recting the conversation in the right w^ay for 
improvement. " Cultivate," says Professor 
Francke, " a talent for directing the conver- 
sation in a proper channel. Never change 

crows' nests. 75 

the conversation from a profitable subject. 
Much is to be learned, both in discipline of 
the mind and in the collection of facts, by- 
much conversation on the same topic. Never 
interrupt a person who is speaking, and he 
silent if you yourself are interrupted^ 

Some young misses think that the charac- 
ter of a hoyden, a kind of thoughtless romp, 
is a beautiful disguise under which they can 
conceal themselves, and make folly and rude- 
ness pass for wisdom and propriety. But they 
forget that we cannot respect the calf, though 
we may be amused at his gambols. We 
cannot love where we cannot respect. We 
have had the misfortune to know a very few 
ladies who wore pantaloons on occasions, 
and who could climb trees for crows' nests 
before breakfast, and leap fences and shoot 
with a double-barrelled gun; but we never 
found it in us to respect them. You always 
draw yourself up when you see such a young 
lady, not knowing what may come next. You 
can imagine how horses would run side by 
side, but when you see the heifer taking her 
stand to run, you do not know what the crea- 


ture may do. Let no one feel that she can 
challenge admiration by putting off her sex 
and laying aside the delicacy of the true 
lady, even though she might come out in 
the skin and the voice of the lion. 

Trifles make up life; and "true politeness 
is benevolence in trifles." You cannot ex- 
pect every day to do some great thing to 
confer happiness around you; but every day 
you can do little acts of courtesy. You can 
forbear to utter an unkind remark, a cutting 
sarcasm, an unpleasant truth, and a mortify- 
ing remark ; and you can by tone and voice 
and words every day make one or more 
happy. If you cannot remove mountains 
from the paths of your companions, you can 
show kindness and gentleness. " A gentle 
spirit is like ripe fruit, which bends so low 
that it is at the mercy of every one who 
chooses to pluck it, while the harder fruit 
keeps out of reach. No one living in society 
can be independent." It is small, frequent 
wounds which are so hard to bear. The horse 
may now and then step on your foot and 
cause you great pain ; but we suffer far more 


from the impudent horse-fly, whose foot only 
tickles as he walks over your nose. 

One great thing to be attended to is an 
unjflinching, unalterable cheerfulness. Some 
people have no sunny side to their houses. 
They eat, drink, sleep, and summer only on 
the north, cold, damp, mouldy side of the 
house. They seem to feel that, if they are not 
martyrs to religion, they must be to circum- 
stances. They do not know how it is, but 
they have more trials, more misfortunes, than 
any body else. All the colors of the rainbow 
are gathered into blue, and the clear sunshine 
would be pleasant, were it not that it is always 
followed by bad weather. The moon would 
look briglit, but she, too, is surrounded by a 
ring, which foretells a long storm. The spring 
would be pleasant, but it gets here so late. 
The summer would do better, but it is always 
so hot. The autumn is sad, because the 
leaves decay and fall; and who does not 
know that winter is all horrors ! If there be a 
great, a certain curse, from which you should 
strive and pray to be delivered, it is a mur- 
muring disposition. 


Some, however, mistake mirth for cheerful- 
ness. They feel that it is enough, if now and, 
then they throw off gloom, and break through 
their heart-rending trials, and become sweet 
and mirthful. This, perhaps, is a little better 
than nothing. But it is not what you want. 
Let the beautiful pen of Addison instruct 
you. " I have always," says he, " preferred 
cheerfulness to mirth. The latter I consider 
as an act, the former as a habit of the mind. 
Mirth is short and transient ; 'cheerfulness 
fixed and permanent. Those are often raised 
to the greatest transports of mirth who are 
subject to the greatest depressions of melan- 
choly : on the contrary, cheerfulness, though 
it does not give the mind such an exquisite 
gladness, prevents us from falling into any 
depths of sorrow. Mirth is like a flash of 
lightning, that breaks through the gloom of 
clouds, and glitters for a moment ; cheerfulness 
keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and 
fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity." 

One good method of reformation in wrong 
habits, and in little things, when you are 
away at school, is to review your life and see 


how you have treated your parents. If I mis- 
take not, you will see some sad pictures, 
when memory comes to hold up her canvas, 
and show you the past. Those little acts of 
disobedience, unkindness, which you hardly 
thought of at the time, should now come up 
before you and instruct you, not merely how 
you will behave towards them in futm-e, but 
how you will now treat your companions. 
What we do and feel to-day will come up in 
the review hereafter. Charles Lamb, in writ- 
ing to his friend, thus speaks of these memo- 
ries in his own case. " O my friend, I think 
sometimes, could I recall the days that are 
past, which among them should I choose. 
Not those ' merrier days,' not the ' pleasant days 
of hope,' not those ' wanderings with a fair- 
haired maid,' which I have so often and so 
feelingly regi'etted, but the days, Coleridge, of 
a mother'' s fondness for her school-bop. What 
would I give to call her back to earth for one 
day, on my knees to ask her pardon for all 
those little asperities of temper, which, from 
time to time, have given her gentle spirit 
pain ! And the day, my friend, I trust will 


come ; there will be time enough for kind 
offices of love, if heaven's eternal years shall 
be ours. Hereafter, her meek spirit shall not 
reproach me. O my friend, cultivate the 
filial feelings ! and let no man think himself 
released from the kind charities of relation- 
ship. These shall give him peace at the last ; 
these are the best foundation for every species 
of benevolence." ' The young lady should 
ever bear in mind, that the short answer, the 
impatient look, the unldnd tone of voice, and 
the irritating reply, are not injuries infficted 
on her companions merely. They recoil and 
do her a greater injury than they do others; 
and it is thus that a "little injury done to 
another is a great injury done to ourselves. 
The severest punishment of an injury is the 
consciousness of having done it ; and no man 
suffers more than he who is turned over to 
the pain of repentance." The heart, in its 
outgoings and ingatherings, is the seat of our 
enjoyment. You want to draw from the 
hearts around you, as from wells of pure, 
clear, fresh, and unfailing pleasure. So do 
others wish to draw from you ; and the max- 


im is as old as Seneca, that, " if you wish to 
gain affection, you must bestow it." And 
she who does not make it a matter of prin- 
ciple and of calculation to do at least one act 
of love every day, is not out of her own dark 
shadow. Make it a matter of conscience, at 
all events, and at any cost, not to speak evil 
of any one. It would be better still not to 
hear evil spoken. It always takes two %) 
make a slander, one to speak and one to 
hear ; and it is sometimes difficult to decide 
which is the more guilty. Do not keep ac- 
count of the good things you have said or 
done for others, and watch for their return. 
" Say all the good you can of all," says a 
quaint writer, " but if you would have evil 
spoken of any, turn that office over to the 
Devil." You will hereafter remember and 
think of one another, just as you now ap- 
pear to one another. No time or circum- 
stances can alter the impressions which you 
now make ; and if you wish hereafter to be 
remembered by your associates with respect 
and kindness and love, you must show a 
kind, friendly, and unselfish heart. 


You will not suppose I am trying to make 
the life of the school-girl a formal, stiff, always- 
guarded condition. Far from it. I expect you 
will be school-girls, and not prim matrons. I 
expect you will do childish acts and say child- 
ish things ; but what I want is, that these lit- 
tle things which you do and say shall be 
done and said with a view to make others 
happy : it is, that you make it a point in all 
that you do, whether it be to aid in a lesson, 
comfort in a sick-room, or only to pick up a 
pin, to do it all for the purpose of mak- 
ing others happy. We are the most appro- 
priately dressed when others give our dress 
no thought ; we are the most happy when we 
do not think of our own happiness, and most 
likely to be beloved, when we have no 
thought for ourselves. Treat your associ- 
ates, not as young ladies who have met you 
here to compare notes, to see who has the 
most property, the finest homes, the gayest 
wardrobe, the brightest eye, or the fairest fade, 
but as friends who have been thrown together 
on the sunniest spot in life, to see how you 
can aid and bless one another in providing 


food and discipline of heart and of the intel- 
lect for all future life. She who can banish 
one shade of anxiety or of sadness from the 
face of a companion, has done a good deed, 
and she who has lightened one burden, or 
poured a single flash of light into the sorrow- 
ing heart, will not lose her reward. 

It is a mistake to suppose it is best to see 
how few friends you can make, and how inti- 
mate you can become with them. It is the 
way with school-girls, often, to clan together, 
to select two or three unspeakably dear and 
intimate associates, — sworn friends whom 
they will correspond with at least twice a 
week, aU the rest of their lives ; and they feel 
that this is the best way. But I would recom- 
mend you to try, not how intimate your friends 
may be, but how many you can make your 
friends. Endeavor to live in bright sunshine, 
not always mourning and trying to feel how 
unfortunate you have been in your room, in 
your room-mate, in your teacher, in your stud- 
ies, in your associates, but how many things 
you have to make you happy. In your Corre- 
spondence home, do not try to see how doleful 


a story you can make out, — what sufferings 
you have to undergo, what sacrifices you are 
making, and how you are counting the weeks 
and the days, the hours and the minutes, 
when the prison-doors will be opened, and the 
poor sufferer may again set her face towards 
that paradise, — home, — which was any thing 
but a paradise while she was in it : do not try 
to see how much romantic suffering you can 
endure in six months, and strive to make your- 
self believe that you really are almost sacri- 
ficed on the altar of learning ; but try to make 
the beams of the morning, the sweet breath 
of early flowers, the warm light of the sun, 
and the beautiful world that surrounds you, 
all cheer you on in your duties ; and let your 
face carry sunshine into every room that you 
enter, into every recitation that you make, 
and into every thing you do. Remember 
that there are few places in this world where 
happiness may not be found. But like 
the gold-dust, it must be first sifted out 
of the sand, or the rock must be broken, 
pounded, and perhaps smelted, ere you obtain 
it. -And when found, it is not in great lumps, 


but in grains. So our happiness is made 
up of grains, which we must pick up par- 
ticle by particle. In the same way we must 
impart it. In no situation will you ever have 
it in your power to add so fast to your 
capital as while at school. And yom' social 
intercourse and habits affect yom- own happi- 
ness, and the well-being of those around you 
now, and will help to shape your and then* 
happiness, for all the future of your life. Feel 
that you have not come here to shun responsi- 
bility, but to assume it ; not come merely to 
receive good, but also to bestow it ; not only 
to receive smiles, but to scatter them ; not 
alone to be improved, but to aid in improving 
others. It is not the place to have or to be 
dolls ; but the place and the time to make 
moral and intellectual greatness the standard, 
and thus humble the pride ; to subdue the 
temper, and bow the will, and govern the 
heart, and thus make you tolerable to your- 
self, and lovely in the eyes of others. 



New Trials. Better Scholars tHan you. Eriends will be dis- 
appointed. "Wonderful Blacksmith. No Excuse for you. 
Kock Slates and Sea-egg Pencils. Not too late. So much 
done. Parents' Mistake. A Good-for-nothing Machine. 
Too great a Difference. The Best Response. Letters like 
Chimneys. Starving Pupil. Genteel Prisons, Why not 
spend Money 1 School not for the Rich alone. Daniel 
Webster's Congratulation. East Winds must come. Cow- 
ard won the Day. 

Every situation has its inconveniences, 
which we call trials ; and, of course, every 
new situation must have new trials. Some- 
times these seem heavy because they are 
new, though in reality they may not be as 
severe as those we have left behind. At 
home, perhaps, you had every indulgence ; 
you were petted and caressed, and every 


thing as far as possible was made to bend to 
your pleasure. But when you reach your 
place in the school, there is no partiality, no 
petting your whims, no caressing your wishes. 
You have to take your place among a multi- 
tude of yom' equals, and your place seems a 
cold one. Their interests are to be looked 
after as well as yours, and they must receive, 
each, as much attention as you do. This is a 
new trial. It is one that you did not think 
of, and it meets you many times every day. 
It is very hard to come to the conclusion that 
we are of no more consequence than others, 
and are to receive no more attention. 

You have the trial, too, of finding by pain- 
ful experience that there are others who go 
before you. They have manners more agree- 
able, dispositions . more mild and winning, 
memories more retentive, minds that are 
quicker to seize and understand a subject, 
thoughts that are brighter, and an imagina- 
tion that flashes more than yours ; you meet 
with those who have had better earlv advan- 
tages, who were better instructed in child- 
hood, and who, consequently, can better com- 


mand the mind than you can. You thought, 
before leaving home, that study, dtvay from 
liome^ would be easy ; that you could stand 
among the first in the school ; but you find, as 
a matter o^fact, that many are far above you. 
This is a severe trial. You feel, perhaps, 
mortified, to find that you had over-estimated 
youi*self, and that your friends had made the 
same mistake. You feel, perhaps, that you 
can never be what your friends expect ; and 
that the great thing which you have learned 
by coming to school is, that you know but 
a very little. Now out of these circumstances 
arise certain temptations into which you are 
in danger of falling. 

1. Tlie temptation to indolence. 

This temptation is so universal, so power- 
ful, that it seems to be a part of our very 
nature. It meets us at all times and places ; 
before we rise in the morning, it comes and 
whispers to us; when we plan to do any 
thing, indolence bids us put it off till to-mor- 
row, or to do it by halves, or to' do something 
else-iirst, or to try some easier way. When 
you find that a lesson comes hard, she teUs 


you that your advantages have heretofore 
been so poor, that you are not to be expected 
to get it as well as others. You forget that 
there are no circumstances so unfavorable, 
but that we can learn, and learn a great deal. 
" In one of our Southern States is a colored 
man, who has recently been purchased of, his 
master to be sent as a missionary to Africa. 
He is a Presbyterian, and has the confidence 
of all who know him. This slave is a black- 
smith. He first learned the letters of the 
alphabet by inducing his master's children to 
make the letters, one at a time, on the door 
of his shop. He next learned to put them to- 
gether, and to make words, and was soon 
able to read. He then commenced the study 
of arithmetic, then of English grammar and 
geography. He is now able to read the Greek 
Testament with ease, and has obtained some 
knowledge of Latin, and even,, commenced 
Hebrew, which he was compelled to give up 
for want of suitable books. He is now read- 
ing theology, in which he makes good prog- 
ress. He is as remarkable for piety and 
huhaility as for diligence. He studies every 


night till eleven or twelve o'clock, and intel- 
ligent lawyers, in conversing with him, feel 
that he is their equal. He is between thirty 
and thirty-five years of age." 

Now what excuse have you for indolence, 
when you see that, under the worst circum- 
stances, diligence will raise the mind. There 
are no strata so thick under which the mind 
can be buried, that diligence cannot burst 
them and cause the mind to work up through. 
If any ever have an apology for indolence, 
it is those who are crushed by poverty, dark- 
ened by ignorance, and depressed by their cir- 
cumstances. But the individual who has 
every possible advantage, as you have, should 
blush to be overcome by idleness. If the 
neglected and the lowly can bend or break, 
and rise up over all difficulties, surely you 
can do so too. Mr. Pritchard, a missionary 
from one of the South Sea Islands, in speak- 
ing to a London audience, stated that the na- 
tive boys belonging to one of the South Sea 
Islands, having no slates, and no Avriting- 
books, supply the lack by going to the moun- 
tains and breaking off a piece of the rock, one 


side of which they smooth by rubbing it upon 
a coral reef. They then dive into the sea, 
and, breaking off one of the spires of the sea- 
egg, use it as a pencil. The speaker held in 
his hand one of these substitutes for slates 
while giving the account. 

And when we remember that Samuel Lee, 
Professor of Hebrew in the University of 
Cambridge, England, was seventeen years of 
age before he conceived the idea of learning a 
foreign language ; that out of his small earn- 
ings as carpenter he purchased at a book- 
stall a volume, which, when read, he ex- 
changed for another, and so by degrees he 
advanced in knowledge; that without any 
living assistant, and bm'dened with cares, he 
still pressed on in his course; that he had to 
pass directly from hard labor to study ; that 
during the six years previous to his twenty- 
eighth year, he omitted none of the hours 
usually appropriated to manual labor ; and 
that at the age of thirty-one he was master 
of seventeen different languages, which he 
was actually teaching, — we shall be slow to 
allow that indolence ought to be allowed in a 


school of young ladies. But unless you are 
very determined, this enemy will follow you 
with velvet step into the school-room, and 
into the recitation-room, and into your private 
room. Bolts and bars will not keep him out ; 
he can scale walls, leap over boundaries and 
proprieties, and even creep through key-holes. 
Do not allow him to come and mourn with 
you, that you had so poor advantages in early 
life, that it 's in vain to try now. It is never 
too late to do rightly and properly, and with 
our might. Do not let him whisper in your 
ear, that you can stay in the school but a 
short time, and therefore you cannot accom- 
plish much. Up and to your work. " The 
hawks of Norway, where a winter's day is 
hardly an hour of clear light, are the swiftest 
on the wing of any fowl under the firmament, 
— nature teaching them to bestir themselves, 
to lengthen the shortness of the time by the 
speed of their flight." So you must make the 
more speed and the more effort if your time of 
going to school is short. Up and to the work. 

2. Tlie temptation to he superficial. 

Many young ladies have the ambition to 

parents' mistake. 93 

feel and to say, that they have studied so 
many books ; and their ambitious fathers and 
mothers are anxious to be able to say that 
their daughters accomplished so much and so 
much during the short time they were at 
school. The parents are more to blame than 
the daughters, and the teachers who allow 
them to multiply and carry on half a dozen 
studies at once are more to blame than either. 
The whole process becomes like the cram- 
ming process of preparing turkeys for market. 
Very many have no idea that going over a 
study and through a book is not the same 
thing as understanding it. Why cannot par- 
ents see that it is better to understand and 
master one study, than to get a smattering of 
a dozen ? If the object of study were to see 
how much ground you could pass over, of 
how many things you could learn a little, — 
to see how much you could crowd into the 
memory and charge it to receive and hold it 
all, — then this superficial way would be the 
right way ; but if the object be to see how 
you can discipline all the faculties of the 
mind in due proportion, it is the last thing 


that should be done. I would urge you to do 
whatever you do as well as possible ; to have 
no more studies on hand than you can mas- 
ter, and at all events not to be superficial. 

Shenstone says, " Mr. Reynolds has brought 
my lady Luxborough a machine that goes 
into a coat-pocket, yet answers the end of a 
jack for boots, a pair of snuffers, a cribbage- 
board, a reading-desk, a ruler, an eighteen- 
inch rule, three pairs of nut-crackers, a lemon- 
squeezer, two candlesticks, a piquet-board, 
and the Lord knows what besides I Can you 
form any idea of it ? But, indeed, while it 
pretends to 'these exploits, it performs nothing 

3. You will feel tempted to he envious and 
jealous of others. 

We have implanted in us a strong desire 
to be and to do what others are not and can- 
not. When we sit down alone, we can, in 
reverie, make ourselves to be heroes and hero- 
ines, powerful to accomplish, and great, lofty, 
and noble in character. But these dreams 
are over when we meet a class at recitation, 
^r the whole school for study. We see that 


this one and that one excels us. She is a 
better scholar. Her lessons are better learned 
and better recited ; and we feel, — not that 
injustice is really done us, — but we are jeal- 
ous lest her standing should be placed too 
high and ours too low. We think there 
ought not to be so wide a difference between 
us. And thus, ere we are aware, we feel 
jealous of our friend, or we envy her the 
attainments to which we can lay no claim. 
It is then very easy to accuse the teacher of 
being partial, and to feel that unfortunately 
we are not duly appreciated. The proba- 
bility is that very few human beings live 
who have not, at times, more or less of this , 
feeling. The temptation is strong. It is 
hard to come home and allow that we have 
not studied faithfully, or that we have not 
the mind and the intellect which others have. 
Then this feeling breaks out in evil speak- 
ing, in disparaging remarks upon those who 
excel us. And perhaps we hear of some- 
thing said about us by some fellow-student 
not quite so flattering as we could wish, and 
then we must see if we cannot say some- 


thing a little keener, smarter, and more severe 
in return. It is hard to recollect at all times 
" that silence is the softest response of all con- 
tradictions that arise from impertinence and 
envy." We need humility to bear being in 
contact and in contrast with those who ought 
to be our equals, but whom we know to be 
our superiors. However much you may be 
tempted, and few temptations are stronger, 
to speak evil of your companions, be very 
careful that you do not. You inflict wounds 
that are hard to cure ; and you may feel 
assured, that with what measure ye mete, it 
shall be meted out to you again. 

4. You will he tempted to exaggeration. 

Some people never see any thing which 
has not a thousand wonders thrown around 
it; the lesson to be recited is the hardest 
ever seen ; the study itself is truly horrible, 
and every thing is superlatively good or 
superlatively bad. Especially is this the 
case when you write to your friends. What 
sorrows and gi'oans do the mail-bags some- 
times carry! The letters written home are 
not unfrequently like our chimneys, the con- 


ductors of smoke and soot enough to put 
out any common pair of eyes. It is so much 
more romantic, and makes us appear so much 
more like martyrs, to be able to tell of our suf- 
ferings and tiials, and be able to set them 
out to good advantage ! A small mishap is a 
real God-send to some people, and they are 
sure to make the most of their afflictions. 
Sometimes these sorrows meet them in the 
shape of " horrid " teachers, or " shocking 
rooms," or "awful" food, or "dismal" weath- 
er, or most unamiable companions. In a 
boys' school lately, where I knew the boys 
had food enough, and of the best quality, 
though plain, the teacher showed me a 
letter which one of the boys had just written 
home to his father, and in which was this 
sentence : " I am glad you sent me the box 
of eatables, for I have not had a meal fit 
to eat since I have been here." " Shall you 
let him send that letter just as it is?" I 
inquired. " Certainly," said the principal, 
laughing, " certainly ; if the father, who has 
been here and seen my school, don't know 
better, he is so great a fool that I care 



not what he thinks." You can injure a 
school, you can give incurable wounds to 
teachers and fellow-pupils, by giving way 
to the foolish notion, that a letter must be 
spiced with strong language, playful satire, 
burning indignation, or beautiful exaggera- 
tion. Remember that what is put on paper 
must remain ; and the impressions which you 
send abroad are handed round and passed on 
from one to another almost indefinitely. 

School is a place of discipline, and there- 
fore is, and must be, in some respects, a hard 
place. But you would think, judging from 
the conduct of many scholars, that it was the 
most terrible place in the world. I have 
heard young ladies, who, however, were far 
from being good scholars or good improvers 
of their opportunities, speak of the school 
which they had left as a very horrid place. 
You would think by then account of it that 
it was a kind of genteel prison, where the 
keepers are without mercy, and the prisoners 
without help. The teachers are a set of peo- 
ple who band together and make it their 
whole business to see how much they can 


oppress, what burdens they can lay on, what 
new plans of torture they can invent, while 
the scholars are the most meek and forbear- 
ing and lovely beings in the world, never 
doing an action that is mean or wrong or 

5. The temptation to extravagance in spend- 
ing money. 

A young lady goes abroad to school, and we 
will suppose her father is reputed to be rich. 
He allows her to have pocket-money in abun- 
dance ; and now why should she not spend it 
freely and liberally ? What if she does spend 
a hundred or even two hundred dollars need- 
lessly, of what consequence is it ? I reply, that 
it is not always the case that those are rich 
who are reputed to be. As a general thing, 
almost every man's property is overrated, and 
nine probabilities to one, your father is not 
as rich as you think him to be. He wants to 
gratify his child, and he feels that he must 
not appear to be close with his family; but 
depend upon it, there are very few people who 
who are not occasionally a little pinched for 
money. Then, again, every dollar you spend 


mnst more or less take your thoughts off 
from your studies. You must think before- 
hand what you intend to purchase ; you must 
go and get it, and you must use it after ob- 
tained; all of which must occupy thought 
and attention. But this is not all. The ma- 
jority of those who are with you in school 
are not able to spend money thus : at any rate, 
a school, to be a good and useful instrument 
of benefiting the human race, ought to be so 
constituted that those who are not rich can 
be educated at it. Now no one ought to do 
what will make others feel uneasy because 
they cannot do the same, or what would 
make the standard of expense in a school so 
high as to make it burdensome to the rest. 
School is the place for study and for mental 
discipline, and not the place for display, for 
costly dressing or ornaments. Fashion ought 
to be shut out here, so that if, with her pat- 
terns and measures, and collars and boxes, 
she knocks at your door, she may hear a stern 
voice bidding her begone. No young man is 
respected any more at college for his dress ; 
and a free use of pocket-money there is al- 

DANIEL Webster's congratulation. 101 

most certain ruin ; and I presume that display 
and expenditures, to any great amount, are 
incompatible with scholarship in a ladies' 
school. Worth gi'ows in rough places. Pov- 
erty is no hindrance to intellectual or moral 
worth. " I congratulate you," said Daniel 
Webster to a lame student at Yale College, 
" I congratulate you on being lame ! " And 
that lame student came out the fii'st scholar 
in his class. Somebody beautifully remarks, 
that Spain, which has the best land in the 
world, has the poorest farmers ; and Scotland, 
which has the poorest land in the world, 
sends out the best gardeners. If you happen 
to be among the favored whose inheritance 
is your character and not property, do not be 
H ashamed of your poverty nor be disheartened 
by it. It will most Likely make your char- 
acter. We need to feel the ii'on hand of ne- 
cessity pressing hard upon us before we reaUy 
accomplish much. Some of the most val- 
ued things ever written were wrung out by 

Set it down as settled, that there can be 
no situation without temptations and trials 


































which we must meet. We cannot shun them, 
we cannot go round them, we must meet 
and look them in the face. There must be 
north winds and east winds, cloudy days and 
cold storms in our way, as well as clear sun- 
shine and soft breezes. They are all in the 
providence of God ; and when you go to 
school, expect to meet them ; and when they 
come, do not waste your strength in wonder- 
ing over them, nor yet in mourning over them. 
Meet them gently as you please, but firm as 
a rock. Courage will rise as you approach 
the trial, if you will advance steadily. Two 
young officers were sent, under Wellington's 
own eye, to make a charge upon a body of 
French cavalry in Spain. As they rode to- 

"?. gether, one grew pale, trembled, and his feet ^ 
J shook in the stirrups. His companion, a 
fine, bold fellow, observed it, and reproached 

" You are afraid," said he. 
" That is very true," said the other, " I am 
afraid, and if you were half as much afraid 
as I am, you would turn your horse's head 
and ride back to the camp." 


As they had not advanced far, the other, 
indignant, returned to Wellington to tell the 
story, and to ask for a worthier companion. 
" Clap spurs to your horse," was Wellington's 
reply, " or the business will be done by your 
cowardly companion before you get there." 
He was right. The business was done ; the 
coward swept down upon the enemy like a 
whirlwind, and scattered them like chaff I 



The Tedious Day. How to read. Now is the Time to begin. 
Nothing to build with. One Dish at a Time. Great Men 
raised up in Times of Commotion. One hundred and twenty- 
four Volumes. A Book read in Six Months. Books of 
Pewter and of Bank-notes. Starving on Jellies. Changing 
Horses at Paris. Convent in Portugal. Chain of Memory. 
Three Hours a Week. Let nothing interfere. Poetry its 
own Reward. None, safest. Giant cracking Nuts. Phos- 
phorus and Honey. 

Dr. Franklin thinks that he must be a very 
wretched man who is shut up of a rainy day 
and knows not how to read. It seems to me 
that he must be more wretched who is thus 
shut up and does know how to read, but who 
has nothing to read. The world contains a 
vast amount of the mind and the thought 
that have lived before us ; not all, to be sure, 


nor is it all digested, sifted, reduced, and well 
arranged ; but so much so, that the books now 
in the world are a vast repository, to which 
we may go and take what we wish. The 
mine is very rich and the ore extracted very 
precious ; but you want to know how to dig 
it, how to separate and refine it. There 
probably is not a subject upon which the hu- 
man mind has ever thought, which has not 
left the record of these thoughts on the print- 
ed page. As all think more or less, and as 
multitudes have not judgment or taste suf- 
ficient to know whether their thoughts are 
worth printing or not, there must be of course 
a huge mass printed, and thrown into the 
common stock, to be used or thrown aside as 
mankind may choose. As we have a great 
multitude of duties to perform, and a very 
limited period in which to do them, we want 
to know how to make the most of our time 
and opportunities. We want to know how 
we can read to the best advantage, obtain 
the most of instruction, thought, or amuse- 
ment in a given time. This is what I wish 
you to be able to do. 


There are but two kinds of books in the 
world, — such as are designed to instruct, and 
such as are intended to amuse ; and when a 
book blends amusement with instruction, it 
is not for the sake of the amusement, but for 
the sake of instruction, — just as you mix 
sugar with your medicine, not for the sake of 
the sugar, but to make the medicine go down. 
It is our privilege, within certain bounds, to 
make books subserve both of these ends. 
There is no way in which one can be so 
easily and quickly instructed or amused as 
by the reading of books. Still we need to 
know how to read to advantage, what to 
read, and in what proportions we may read 
for improvement and what for entertain- 

Let me say, too, here, that if you ever ac- 
quire habits of reading, and if you ever have 
in the mind stores laid up which you have 
drawn from books, it must be done in the 
morning of life. I never knew a man ac- 
quire a love for reading who did not corri- 
mence it early ; and I never knew a full man, 
who had great resources from which he could 


draw with facility, who did not lay up faith- 
fully in early life. There is no subject oi: 
which you may not obtain information from 
books, — there is none on which you are lim 
ited as to amount. He, therefore, who does 
not know how to read to advantage is a great 
loser ; and he who may know how, but will 
not read, is not merely a dunce, but very 
wicked. Bishop Home remarks, " You should 
be careful to provide yourself with all neces- 
sary knowledge, lest, by and by, when you 
should be building, you should have your ma- 
terials to look for and bring together ; besides 
that, the habit of studying and thinldng, if it 
be not got in the first part of life, rarely comes 

My first caution is, Do not try to read too 
many hooks. Some seem to have the notion 
that if they only read, — read something, and 
a great deal, — they are on the high Vay to 
improvement. You might just as well say, 
that if you only eat a great deal, keep at it, 
no matter what you eat, flesh or fish, pies or 
pork, tomatoes or tom-tits, potatoes or pud- 
dings, sausages or sorrel, green apples or green 


turtle, eels or elfins, — only eat and you will 
be robust, fair, and in perfect health. Does 
not the merest child know that we are nour- 
ished most and best by the plain dish, and 
one dish at a time ; that it is not the amount 
|:hat we eat, but the amount that is digested 
and incorporated into the system, that gives 
us health and vigor ? The mind that reads a 
good book slowly is much more likely to be 
enlightened and fed than if it read ten books 
in the same time. " A good book," says John 
Milton, " is the precious life-blood of a mas- 
ter-spirit embalmed and treasured up on pur- 
pose to a life beyond life." The most re- 
markable men that have lived are usually 
those who have lived at some marked epoch 
in the world, and who, in Providence, were 
then called out to make and to leave their 
mark upon the world. Hence it is that his- 
tory arid biography are so instructive ; for 
history is only the record of great movements 
and changes and events ; and biography is 
the story of the agents who acted in these 
epochs of the world. You must have revo- 
lutions to bring out Washingtons or Buona- 


partes ; and these strong minds wake up the 
nations, and call out character and cause 
events which never cease to affect the world. 
Or, as Milton beautifully says, " When God 
shakes a kingdom with strong and healthful 
commotions to a general reforming, it is not 
untrue that many sectaries and false teachers 
are then busiest in seducing ; ' but yet more 
true it is, that God then raises up to his own 
work men of rare abilities and more than 
common industry, not only to look back and 
revise what hath been taught heretofore, but 
to gain further and to go on some new en- 
lightened steps in the discovery of truth." 
It is therefore to be understood, that you can 
scarcely read a good history or biography 
without finding a mine rich with instruction. 
Now do not try to read too many of these. 
It is better to understand and remember the 
history of one period, or the life of one re- 
markable man, than to go over the history 
of many ages, or ramble through the whole 
biographical history. Hence 

My second caution is, not to read fast. 

I once had the misfortune, in my boyhood, 


to fall upon a set of books called " The 
World," in one hundred and twenty-four 
volumes, and, feeling that my time was lim- 
ited, I read them all in six months ! I might 
as well have poured gold-dust through a 
coarse sieve, thinking that by pouring it by 
the bushel my sieve must certainly retain 
much. Had I read but two volumes during 
that time, I am sure I could to-day have told 
you something of their contents, but now 
all I can remember is, that they were English 
books in a pretty shape, with many pictures, 
and very interesting. And now, if I have 
not given you a great amount of information 
about my one hundred and twenty-four vol- 
umes, you may feel assured I have given you 
all I possess. A book should be read no 
faster than you can understand it, digest it, 
and remember it. The most accurate and best- 
informed reader that I have ever met with 
was never less than six months in reading an 
octavo volume. He usually read walking his 
room. His method, as well as I remember, 
was as follows : to read the title-page, and ^ 
see how much and what he knew about the 


author. He then read the preface, to see 
what the author had to say by way of claim 
to attention. He then read the whole table 
of contents over very carefully, to see what 
the' author professed to accomplish. He 
then closed the book, to see if he could give 
a connected account of the contents of that 
volume. He next made the contents of the 
first chapter his own, by reading the chapter 
through, and then closing the book to see if 
he could, from memory, give the contents of 
that chapter. So he went through the whole 
volume, reading every chapter twice, and re- 
viewing, analyzing, and understanding every 
thing. At the end of six months, the vol- 
ume was his own, and two such volumes in 
the year made him rich in the learning of 
men. Let me say here, that no book is worth 
reading which is not worth reading twice. 
For in reading for improvement we have two 
objects in view ; we want information, knowl- 
edge of facts ; we also want to strengthen 
the power of comprehension and vigorous 
thought. A small spot well cultivated makes 
a rich and beautiful garden ; and the same 


time and labor spent upon it produces more 
of value and of beauty than if spread over 
hundreds of acres of hungry land. Do not 
waste time and energy in trying to read, and 
master, and retain a poor book. John New- 
ton says : " I have many books that I cannot 
sit down to read ; they are indeed good and 
sound, but, like half-pence, there goes a great 
quantity to little amount. There are silver 
books and a few golden books, but I have 
one book worth more than all, called the 
Bible ; and that is a book of bank-notes." * 
But some feel that they cannot read a book 
that is not amusing, — "interesting," as they 
call it. They read solely for amusement, — 
and they have their reward. They obtain the 
amusement, and nothing else. What is called 
a dry book, however important may be its 
subject, or however rich its thought, they can- 
not endure. Just as well might the stomach 
be sustained by jellies, custards, whips, or 
confectionery. Understand that it is easy to 
school the mind so that a diy book shall be- 
come interesting. Henry Kirke White, writ- 
ing to his brother, says, " The plan which 


1 pursued in order to subdue my disinclina- 
tion to dry books was this : to begin attentive- 
ly to peruse it, and to continue thus one hour 
every day : the book insensibly, by this 
means, becomes pleasing to you; and even 
when reading Blackstone's Commentaries, 
which are very dry, I lay down the book with 
regret." There is nothing which is unpleasant 
long, if we put right into it with a hearty, cheer- 
ful good-will : no book is dry that adds to our 
knowledge, or that, strengthens our mind. 
Bmt how often do people go through a book 
as one of our countrymen is said to have 
changed horses at Paris, and then asked what 
the name of that town was ! 

3. My thu'd hint is, that you use the pen 
whenever you read. 

I am aware that I am now touching a dif- 
ficult point. The pen is in danger of being 
used too much or too little. Some have large 
commonplace books into which they copy 
almost all they read, and thus trust nothing 
to memory. The consequence is, that the 
memory is injm-ed and nearly desti'oyed by 
the process. It is better to make the memory 


grapple your acquirements and hold them, 
than to commit its charge to paper, and feel no 
further responsibility. Some things, however, 
must be preserved in the commonplace book, 
such as chronological events, dates, names, 
and the like. Sometimes, too, you take up a 
book for a few moments, which is not your 
own. You may never see it again. You find 
a sentence, or a fact, or an anecdote, or a beau- 
tiful figure, which you wish to retain. In all 
such cases, you should copy it. For example, 
I take up Byron's Letters to his Mother. I do 
not own the book, nor shall I ever own it. But 
I find the following two sentences, and I copy 
them, feeling sure that soipe time or other I 
, shall want them. Visiting a convent in Portu- 
gal, he says, " The monks, who possess large 
revenues, are courteous enough, and under- 
stand Latin, so that we had a long conversa- 
tion. They have a large library, and asked me, 
if the English had any books in their country! " 
Your commonplace books should be of two 
kinds ; — one a kind of Index Rerum, in which 
you may note down the book and the page 
which treat on a particular subject. This 


should be arranged alphabetically by subjects. 
The other should be a book of extracts from 
such books as you cannot own, or which are 
rare and curious. These should be noted 
down under the proper heads in the index. 
It is impossible to read to the highest advan- 
tage without using the pen much. Sir Wil- 
liam Jones well says, " Writing is the chain 
of memory." Dr. Franklin, writing to a 
young lady, says, " I would advise you to 
read with a pen in your hand, and enter in a 
little book short hints of what you find that is 
cmious, or that may be useful : for this will 
be the best method of imprinting such par- 
ticulars in your memory, where they will be 
ready, either for practice on some future oc- 
casion, if they are matters of utility, or at 
least to adorn and improve your conversation, 
if they are rather points of curiosity." 

4. My fourth hint is, that you have a stated 
time for reading every day. 

I am not now determining how much time 
you can spare for reading from other duties. 
I will suppose that, by close economy as to 
sleeping, dressing, and the like, you can com- 


mand but three hours during the week. I say 
it is far better to divide those hours, and read 
half an hour daily, than to read three hours at 
once. You will read more carefully ; you will 
give the mind more exclusively to your book. 
You will long to have the season return for 
reading, and you will have something to 
think upon during the day. One reason, as 
it seems to me, why so many lose all the 
benefit of reading, is, that they not only read 
miscellaneously any thing they happen to fall 
upon, but they read any time when it hap 
pens to be convenient. If you have never 
made the trial, you will be astonished to find 
how the mind rejoices to have the stated hour 
arrive when she can return to the book. The 
Earl of Chatham, when trying to form the 
character of his nephew, writes thus : " K 
you do not set apart your hours of reading, 
and never suffer yourself or any one else to 
break in upon them, your days will slip 
through your hands, unprofitably stnd frivo- 
lously, unpraised by all you wish to please, 
and really unenjoyable to yourself." To 
this testimony, I will add, that I have never 


known any one who grew in knowledge and 
mental strength by reading, who had not the 
stated time when he went to his book, and 
with which nothing was suffered to interfere. 
You do not read much unless you read at 
stated times, and what you do read is not 
read to the best advantage. Always have a 
book on hand, — a real, substantial book by 
you, which you are reading, — such a book as 
you would not feel ashamed to have a great 
man or a great scholar see lying upon your 

As to the question, what you shall' read, I 
have not time to go into it fully. Poetry, 
good, beautiful poetry, every lady ought to 
read. Poeti'y is the daughter of the skies. 
Inspiration, in her loftiest strains, comes to us 
in poetry. You cannot write it nor make it ; 
but the mind through which it passes seems 
to be beautified, like the channels through • 
which the clear, cold waters of the mountains 
run. It is a teacher whose voice was tuned 
in the skies, sweet as that of the silver ti'um- 
pet, and whose robes reflect the purity and the 
odors of heaven. Not that you are to read 


poetry all the time, any more than yon are to 
be surrounded by the colors of the rainbow 
all the time. Says the gifted Coleridge, 
" Poetry has been to me its own exceeding 
great reward. It has soothed my afflictions, 
it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments, 
it has endeared solitude, and it has given me 
the habit of wishing to discover the good and 
the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds 
me." You will find that poetry is not only 
thought, and thought condensed and refined, 
but it is fruit which grew in a warmer cli- 
mate and under fairer skies than those to 
which we have been accustomed. 

And what shall I say of novels and roman- 
ces ? Where shall they come in, and how large 
a place shall they occupy ? I reply, as the phy- 
sician did to his patient who importuned him 
to know if a little brandy would hurt him much, 
" No ; a little won't hurt you much, but none 
at all won't hurt you any." There has been 
so much said, and so well said, in regard to 
this kind of reading, that I need only utter 
my testimony, clear, decided, strong, and 
earnest, that you touch not, taste not, handle 


not. Many a young lady has stood out in 
the soft moonlight, under cool dews, bright 
heavens and fany visions around her, and felt 
confident that it was all in safety, while from 
the cool and beautiful evening she was silently 
inhaling an unseen^ unfelt something, which 
ended in consumption and her early death. 
There are parts of the human body too deli- 
cate for the sweet air of evening; and there 
are chords in the human soul, and fibres of the 
human heart, that are destroyed by the subtle 
poison drawn from novels and romances. 
Even the best of them leave the soul dissatis- 
fied with her lot, cold towards her duties, dis- 
tasteful towards realities, and sorrowing that 
she could not be somebody else, or in some- 
body's condition besides her own. Wilber- 
force, speaking of the Waverley Novels, says 
in his Diary, " I am always sorry that they 
should have so little moral or religious object. 
They remind me of a giant spending his 
strength in cracking nuts. I would rather go 
to render up my account at the last day carry- 
ing up with me The Shepherd of Salisbury 
Plain, than bearing the load of all these vol- 


umes, full as they are of genius." K those 
books are the most profitable which make the 
reader think the most, if the world is abun- 
dant in books that are good, if the taste and 
the heart are all vitiated by works of fiction, 
if the young can never lose the influence of the 
knowledge obtained, and of the habit of read- 
ing then formed, then an enemy could hardly 
do you a worse injury than to pile up your 
table with novels, or encourage you to read 
them. We have known multitudes made 
foolish, nervous, sickly in sentimentalism, mor- 
bidly silly, by such reading ; but have yet to 
find the first instance of any one's being bene- 
fited by it. You cannot be nourished by eat- 
ing phosphorus, or even honey ; the one will 
burn you up bodily, and the other will give 
you the apoplexy. 



" Three things bear mighty sway with men, — 
The Sword, the Sceptre, and the Pen ; 
And he who can the least of these command, 
In the first ranks of fame is sure to stand." 

How to preserve Thought. Presh as ever. Not a Little 
Undertaking. Composition dreaded. Watered by Tears. 
Theory mistaken. No Time for Newspapers. Eactories 
near the Waterfall. Whitefield's Pathos. Passion-flower. 
Women must do the Letter-writing. Chain kept bright. 
How Letters are treated in Turkey. Graceful Handwriting. 
First Specimen. Learn to bear the Yoke of Discipline. 
Graces of Time run into Glories of Eternity. Economist 
of Time. Thousand Years before Noah. Arrow ruined. 
Life hurried. 

By commanding the pen, we do not mean 
merely the mechanical art of holding and 
guiding the quill, so as to have the lines 
gi'aceful, open, and easy, but we mean the 


higher quality of composition. The objects 
of writing are : — : 

1. To record yqur thoughts.) observations^ 
and discoveries for the use of others^ so that 
you can make thought permanent, and be 
able to transmit it from one place to another, 
and also preserve it for future generations. 
So anxious have men been, in all ages, to do 
this, that they have used stone, slate, brass, 
bones, wax, parchment, paper, every thing, any 
thing, on which to write. The greater part 
of what is done and said and thought by the 
generations of men goes unrecorded : and of 
that which is written, but little is read, or 
perhaps worth reading. But the power is 
to fix thought on paper, and then to send it 
off to some friend, is a talent of inestimable 

2. A second object of the pen is to record 
your thoughts^ your observations^ or your read- 
ing for future use. 

You have read to-day an article of great 
value, — the thoughts were new, fresh, beauti- 
ful and important ; you cannot retain them in 
the memory ; but with the pen you can make 



them your own for all the future. You listen 
to a conversation to-day which interested you 
much ; you will forget it shortly ; but if your 
pen notes it down on paper, you have it years 
hence, as fresh and as beautiful as the day 
you heard it. Thought does not lose its fra- 
grance by keeping, and the time may come 
when a single thought may be of unspeakable 
value to you. 

3. A third object in using the pen is to dis- 
cipline your oivn mind. 

Were I to set out to make a perfect scholar 
of myself or of some other one, I would make 
the pen the great instrument. " Reading," 
says my Lord Bacon, " maketh a full man , 
conversation a ready man, and writing an ac- 
curate man." A child may mistake in the 
spelling of a word, many times, when ad- 
dressed to the ear ; but let him learn to spell 
with the pen, and he will seldom mistake the 
same word more than once. You take the 
pen, and you cannot make the letters, the 
words, or put down your thoughts, at random. 
But if any one thinks that the art of writ- 
ing clearly, simply, and elegantly is to be 


acquired without much pains-taking, he has 
forgotten how he obtained his art, or else he 
never had it, and never will have it. It is of 
the highest importance, that every one who 
professes to have an educated mind should 
be. able to express his thoughts on paper. 
And the power must be acquired in early life, 
or it never will be obtained. Some make it 
a hard and most disagreeable duty, while oth- 
ers find it a pleasure. It can hardly be com- 
menced too early. It can hardly be followed 
too closely or too carefully. It is the daugh- 
ter of practice. You may read good authors, 
may see good society, may be able to express 
yourself appropriately, and even elegantly, 
and yet not be able to write well. How 
many young ladies at school sit down and. 
sigh, and dread the day of composition! 
How they dread to read what they have 
written ! Why do they ? Because they are 
aware that they have nothing written worth 
hearing. And how do they go to work to write 
a composition ? First, they are a great while 
— days, if not weeks — in selecting a subject 
on which to write ; rejecting one and another, 


taking a new one and laying it aside for 
something else, till the very day arrives when 
they are to write, and then they must, in a 
sort of despair, select something. Or if the 
teacher has compassion on them, and selects 
a subject for them, — what divful subjects! 
what hard subjects! what unheard-of sub- 
jects! what old, worn-out subjects! or, what 
new, out-of-the-way subjects he selects ! And 
a curious picture it would make, a young 
lady sitting down alone to write her composi- 
tion, — the broad, blank sheet spread before 
her, the pen nicely dipped in ink, the title 
written down ; and now she pauses, bites the 
tip of her pen, dips it in the ink again, and 
waits for something to come. One single 
sentence, especially if it were a long one, 
would be a great relief. Now she lays down 
the pen, rests her chin upon her hand, and 
tries to think hard^ and force the mind into 
something ! A few tears often water the flow- > 
ers of her composition, and sometimes they 
are so abundantly watered that they too ought 
to be abundant. Now where is the difficulty ? 
What makes it so hard for her to write, and 


the composition often so tame and poor when 
written? The reason is, she had nothing 
to write. When she called upon the mind for 
thought, there were no thoughts at command. 
But she has done the best she could, as she 
thinks. True, if there were no better way, 
she has. But she mistakes the very theory 
of good writing. Instead of this course, let 
the subject be selected, fixed upon for at least 
a week — ten days would be better — before 
you begin to write. During this time, turn it 
over in your mind continually ; see what be- 
longs to it, and what does not. See how 
much you can think about the subject. See 
how you would go to work to explain it to a 
child six years old. See how many questions 
you could ask about it, and how • many of 
these you could answer yourself. Are there 
any simple ways of illustrating it, by com- 
parison, or by figures, and the like ? It is not 
for want of time, but because we waste it, 
that we do not accomplish more, and more 
to our minds. The grand secret of Walter 
Scott's ability to accomplish so much, was 
the carrying out his own grand maxim. 


" never to be doing nothing.^'' Every moment 
was turned to account, and thus "he had 
leisure for every thing, except, indeed, the 
newspapers, which consume so many precious 
hours now-a-days, with most men, and which, 
during my acquaintance with him," says 
Lockhart, " he certainly read less than any 
other person I ever knew, that had any habit 
of readinar at all." It is this maxim of " never 
to be doing nothing" that will fill up the 
mind, so that, when you come to draw from 
it by composition, it will have something to 
give out. There is something in the cask 
from which you are wishing to draw. Some 
think over what they are to write while walk- 
ing ; some do it on the pillow, in the night- 
watches ; some have a slip of paper near 
them, and put down a thought as it occurs ; 
but however you may collect yom' thoughts, 
you cannot write well unless you premedi- 
tate on your subject. You may sit down and 
bite your pen, and wait for thoughts to come, 
but they will not come, and for the plain rea- 
son, there are none to come. But no mind 
can turn over and think over a subject for 


several days, without finding something to 
say, and the fuller the mind is, the easier to 

In selecting a subject on which to try your 
pen, take one that is common and simple. 
Some have an idea that it is easier and every 
way better to select out-of-the-way subjects, 
and import all their thoughts from a long dis- 
tance ; but this is too expensive. If we rear 
a house, we take the stone and the timber 
which are nearest and easiest to come at. 
We build our factories near the waterfall, 
and carry the water as short a distance as we 
can. Do not try to see what new, uncommon 
words or thoughts you can obtain. Sim- 
plicity is one of the first requisites in any 
thing that is perfect, or approaching perfec- 
tion. " The strongest, purest, and least-ob- 
served of aU lights is day-light, and his talk 
was commonplace, just as the sunshine is, 
which gilds the most indifferent objects, and 
adds brilKancy to the brightest." The first 
thing, of course, is to get thought which you 
can put on paper. The next is to express 
that thought in clear, simple language, and, 

whitefield's pathos. 129 

if you can, elegantly. Common things be- 
come beautiful when expressed with elegance. 
Dean Swift once wrote a composition upon 
a broomstick, and found no lack of materials 
or interest, and we all know how charmingly 
Cowper has sung the sofa. A clergyman of 
our country states that he once told an affect- 
ing occurrence to Mr. Whitefield, relating it, 
however, Avith but the ordinary feeling and 
beauty of a passing conversation ; when after- 
wards, on hearing Mr. Whitefield preach, up 
came his own story, narrated by the preacher 
in the pulpit with such native pathos and 
power, that the clergyman himself, who had 
furnished Whitefield with the dry bones of 
illustration, found himself weeping like a 
child. I have known a man, noted for the 
beauty of his productions, write a single page 
over from thirty to seventy times, even after 
the thoughts were fully in his mind. There 
is no way of writing elegantly but by this 
painstaking. Examples and illustrations of 
your subject and thoughts are always wel- 
come. " General propositions," says one, 
" are obscure, misty, and uncertain, compared 


with plain, full, home examples ; precepts only 
apply to our reason, which in most men is 
but weak; examples are pictures, and strike 
the senses, nay, raise the passions and call in 
those (the strongest and most general of all 
motives) to the aid of reformation." A sin- 
gle figure is sometimes a jewel, whose bril- 
liancy will be remembered while all the rest 
is forgotten. When Pope says that " compli- 
ment is, at the best, but the smoke of friend- 
ship," who can forget the figure ? And who 
can pass by the beautiful eulogium of Jeremy 
Taylor, expressed in a single metaphor: " Thus 
she lived, poor, patient, and resigned. Her 
heart was a passion-flower, bearing within it 
the crown of thorns and the cross cff Christ." 
It is not necessary to suppose that you will 
all become authors, — this is not the standard, 
— but all will write for the ear and the eye of 
others, and it is desirable to do this with as 
much clearness, simplicity, and beauty as 

There is one species of writing which seems 
to belong appropriately to the lady. I mean 
letter-writing. In ease and beauty I think 


some ladies have produced letters of sur- 
passing brilliancy. The letters of Madame 
de Sevigne will be immortal, and every gen- 
eration will read them with admkation. The 
same is true of the letters of Hannah More, 
while the labored letters of Walpole and 
Burns, though striking and often beautiful, 
show that the elegance of the female mind is 
wanting! It is too much like a gentleman 
trying to put on the dress and the address of 
a lady. The correspondence which aims to 
instruct, to cheer the fireside, to encourage the 
wanderer, and to sustain age, is now mostly 
in the hands of females. Men are, or think 
they are, too much hurried to write letters, — 
except the short, dry letter of business, which, 
like a dry, hard cough, is laid aside as soon 
as possible. Daughters are those upon whom 
parents depend for long, full, and hopeful 
letters ; and in every situation of life, she 
who can write a good letter confers many 
blessings upon others. " Friendship is the 
great chain of human society, and intercourse* 
of letters is one of the chiefest links of that 
chain." And she who lays herself out to 


keep the links of that chain bright, does a 
noble deed. It is more than an accomplish- 
ment for a lady to write a beautiful letter, 
though an accomplishment of the highest 
kind; it is a positive duty. In order to be 
able to do this easily and readily, you must 
write frequently, — not stiff, formal letters, — 
but as much like social, cheerful conversation 
as you can. There is a sunlight in which 
we may look at every thing, and in which 
every thing looks beautiful. A letter, then, 
to be a good one, must be cheerful, and come 
to your friend like a warm sunbeam. It 
should be the echo of a cheerful heart, in- 
stead of one of those gloomy visitants who 
sometimes come to us, a trouble while with 
us, and leaving cold shadows after they are 
gone. Little troubles which vex you need 
not be put into your letter to trouble others. 
Sorrows which will pass away to-morrow 
need not become fixtures by being embalmed 
in your correspondence. Some feel that their 
letters are to be full of gossip, — retailing all 
the petty scandal they can hear or think out 
of themselves. These letters ought to be 



treated as they treat letters in Turkey, cut 
through and through with a knife, lest they 
should be full of the plague. You should 
remember that, though your letter is ad- 
dressed to the eye of a particular friend, yet it 
is to live long ; for that friend will preserve it, 
and whose eye shall fall upon it after he and 
you are among the dead ? 

" Dead letters, thus with living notions fraught, 
Prove to the soul the telescope of thought; 
To mortal life a deathless witness give, 
And bid all deeds and titles last and live. 
In scanty life eternity we taste, 
View the first ages, and inform the last. 
Arts, history, laws, we purchase wi'th a look, 
And keep, like fate, all nature in a book." 

I hope the impression will not be left upon 
your mind that I deem a fair hand of no con- 
sequence. It is to the composition of a lady 
what dress is to her person, — what a fair 
body is to the soul, — what the chasing is to 
the jewel. A lady is more known and better 
judged of by her handwriting than a man is : 
we are allowed to wear our hair as we please, 
on the head or on the face, but a lady may 
not do so ; and we may write an abominable 


hand, and yet pass among respectable people. 
With some, it is even a mark of genius ; but 
who ever thought a lady a genius because she 
wrote in hieroglyphics, or in English in a way 
that nobody could read ? 

" Ye sprightly fair, whose gentle minds incline 
To mend our manners and our hearts refine, 
With admiration in your works are read 
The various textures of the twining thread 
Then let the fingers, whose unrivalled skill 
Exalts the needle, grace the noble quill. 
An artless scrawl the blushing scribbler shames j 
All should be fair that beauteous woman frames , 
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance. 
As those move easiest who have learned to dance." 

I have desired to give you a specimen or 
two of beautiful letter- writing. They must be 
short. The first is from a bishop to a young 
clergyman : — 

" I am much pleased to hear you have been 
for some titne stationary at Oxford; a place 
where a man may prepare himself to go forth 
as a burning and shining Kght into a world 
where charity is waxed cold, and where truth 
is wellnigh obscured. Whenever it pleases 
God to appoint you to the government of a 


parish, you will find work enough to employ 
you ; and therefore before that time comes 
you should be careful to provide yourself 
with all necessary knowledge, lest by and by, 
when you should be building, you should 
have your materials to look for and bring 
together ; besides, the habit of studying and 
thinking, if not got in the first part of life, 
rarely comes afterwards. A man is misera- 
bly drawn into the eddy of worldly dissipa- 
tion, and knows not how to get out of it 
again till, in the end, for want of spiritual 
exercises, the faculties of the soul are be- 
numbed, and he sinks into indolence, till the 
night Cometh when no man can work. Hap- 
py, therefore, is the man, who betimes ac- 
quires a relish for holy solitude, and accus- 
toms himself to bear the yoke of Christ's 
discipline in his youth ; who can sit alone 
and keep silence, and seek wisdom diligently 
where she may be found, in the Scriptures of 
faith and in the writings of the saints. From 
these flowers of Paradise he extracts the 
honey of knowledge and divine love, and 
therewith fills every cell of his understanding 


and affections. The winter of affliction, dis- . 
ease, and old age will not surprise such a one 
in an unprepared state. He will not be con- 
founded in the perilous time, and in the days 
of dearth he will have enough to strengthen, 
comfort, and support him and his brethren. 
Precious beyond rubies are the hours of 
youth and health ! Let none of them pass 
unprofitably away, for surely they make to 
themselves wings, and are as a bird cutting 
swiftly the air, and the trace of her can no 
* more be found. If well spent, they fly to 
heaven with news that rejoices angels, and 
meet us again as witnesses for us at the tri- 
bunal of our Lord. When the graces of time 
run into the glories of eternity, how trifling 
will the labor then seem that has procured us, 
through grace, the everlasting rest, for which 
the Apostles toiled night and day, and the 
martyrs loved not their lives unto death." 

CowpER TO John Newton. 

" My dear Friend, — I have neither long 
visits to pay nor to receive, nor ladies to 
spend hours in telling me that which might be 


told in five rninutes, yet often find myself 
obliged to be an economist of time, and to 
make the most of a short opportunity. Let 
our station be retired as it may, there is no 
want of playthings and avocations, nor much 
need to seek them, in this world of ours. 
Business, or what presents itself to us under 
that imposing character, will find us out, even 
in' the stillest retreat, and plead its impor- 
tance, however trivial in reality, as a just de- 
mand upon our attention. It is wonderful 
how, by means of such real or seeming neces- 
sities, my time is stolen away. I have just 
time to observe that time is short, and by the 
time I have made the observation, time is 
gone. I have wondered in former days at the 
patience of the antediluvian world ; that they 
could endure a life almost millenary, \\dth so 
little variety as seems to have fallen to their 
share. It is probable that they had much fewer 
employments than we. Their affairs lay in a 
aarrower compass ; their libraries were indif- 
ferently furnished, philosophical researches 
were carried on with much less industry and 
acuteness of penetration, and fiddles, perhaps, 


were not even invented. How, then, could 
seven or eight hundred years of life be sup- 
portable? I have asked this question for- 
merly, and been at a loss to resolve it, but I 
think I can answer it now. I will suppose 
myself born a thousand years before Noah, 
was born or thought of. I rise with the sun ; 
I worship ; I prepare my breakfast ; I swal- 
low a bucket of goat's milk and a dozen good, 
sizable cakes. 1 fasten a new string to my 
bow, and my youngest boy, a lad of about 
thirty years of age, having played with my 
arrows till he has stripped off all the feathers, 
I find myself obliged to repair them. The 
morning is thus spent in preparing for the 
chase, and it is become necessary that I 
should dine. I dig up my roots, I wash 
them ; I boil them ; I find them not done 
enough, I boil them again ; my wife is angiy ; 
we dispute, we settle the point ; but in the 
mean time the fire goes out, and must be 
kindled again. All this is very amusing. I 
hunt, I bring home the prey ; with the skin of 
it I mend an old coat or I make a new one. 
By this time the day is far spent ; I feel my- 


self fatigued, and retire to rest. Thus, what 
with tilling the gi'ound, aiid eating the fruit 
of it, hunting, walking and running, and 
mending old clothes, and sleeping and rising 
again, I can suppose an inhabitant of the 
primeval world so much occupied as to sigh 
over the shortness of life, and to find at the 
end of many centmies that they had all 
slipped through his fingers, and were passed 
away like a shadow. What wonder, then, that 
I, w^io live in a day of so much greater re- 
finement, when there is so much more to be 
wanted, and wished, and to be enjoyed, should 
feel myself now and then pinched in point of 
opportunity, and at some loss for leisure to 
fill up four sides of a sheet like this ? Thus, 
however, it is, and if the ancient gentlemen 
to whom I have referred, and then* complaints 
of the disproportion of time to the occasions 
they had for it, will not serve me as an excuse, 
I must even plead guilty, and confess that I 
am often in haste when I have no good rea- 
son for being so." 



Indian Fashions. Dr. Chalmers's Handwriting. John Fos- 
ter's Eegret. Habit of Seeing. Audubon's Bet. Lady- 
Mary Wortley Montagu a Physician. Not ashamed to ask 
a Question. Secret of Despatch. Chinese Student. Al- 
ways waiting. Eeproof warded off. Just slipping on her 
Things. Lord Brougham's Rules. Mr. Condar's Speech. 
A Sure Recipe. Strive to please. Never-failing Beauty. 
Haydn's Gladness. Feast of Joy. Fair Weather will come. 
Passion disgusting in Woman. Rejoicing in God. 

The different tribes of Indians in this coun- 
try have various notions as to what consti- 
tutes human beauty. But whatever their 
ideas may be, they are all careful to begin to 
train the child according to this standard 
early. K the pappoose belong to the Flat- 
heads, he has a board securely bound to his 
head, that his skull may be flattened by the 

DR. Chalmers's handwriting. 141 

continual pressure. K he is a child of one of 
the Nez Perces, his nose is early cut and 
trimmed into the fashionable shape. All, 
while infants, are fastened to a board, that 
they may be erect. I have seen an Indian 
over a hundred years of age, \vh5 was still 
straight as an arrow in consequence of be- 
ing thus trained. Thus we can impress 
habits upon the body, the mind, and the 
whole character. These habits are of great 
value if good, but if wrong, they are sore mis- 
fortunes. Dr. Chalmers wrote a very illegible 
hand. When writing to his mother, he says, 
" Let me know if you can read my present 
letter ; for if you can, it will give me satisfac- 
tion to know that I can make myself legible. 
I have made a particular effort, and I hope I 
have succeeded in it." Three years after, his 
old habit is strong as ever ; for in a letter from 
his mother to one of her other children, she 
writes, " I had a letter last night from Thom- 
as. It is a vast labor the reading his letters. 
I sometimes take a week to make them out." 
It is hardly necessary to bring forward such 
an example to prove that habits are formed 

142 JOHN Foster's regret. 

in early life, and grow upon us, and cling to 
us firmer and firmer, the longer we live. 
Whether we desire them or not, we shall 
have them. Dr. Paley says truly, " We act 
from habit nine times, where we do once 
from deliberation." Let the habits of the agied 
be what they may, we do not expect or at- 
tempt any change. But it is very important 
for the young to know what habits to form, 
and how this may be done. Any action re- 
peated at stated periods becomes a habit. 
Thus the habit of the intemperate begins by 
his having stated hours or places where he 
drinks. And if any one desires to know 
whether his future life will be happy or 
wretched, let him now decide what habits to 
abandon, what ones to strengthen. " How 
much I regret," says John Foster, " to see so 
generally abandoned to the weeds of vanity 
that fertile and vigorous space of life, in 
which might be planted the oaks and the fruit- 
trees of enlightened principle and virtuous 
habit, which, growing up, would yield to old 
age an enjoyment, a glory, and a shade." 
Life-long habits you are now forming, and 



I am wishing to point out to you some of 
those which are essential to your happiness 
and usefulness, through your whole life. 

1. Cultivate a habit of close observation. 

Some people see things in general, and 
some do not see them at all. A few have the 
power to use the eye for the purpose for which 
it was given. It is not seeing a landscape as 
a whole, but noticing the minute parts of it, 
that makes it beautiful. It is not seeing the 
grove as a whole, that makes the vision so 
pleasant, but it is the study of the different 
trees, their various shapes, heights, the shades 
of their leaves, and their attitudes. Keep the 
eyes open, and the ears awake. " Every new 
class of knowledge and every new subject of 
interest becomes, to an observer, a new sense 
to notice innumerable facts and ideas, and 
consequently receive endless pleasurable and 
instructive hints, to which he had been else as 
insensible as a man asleep." There must be 
originally, in the mind of a good observer, the 
faculty ; but it is greatly improved and en- 
larged by cultivation. " The capabilities of 
any sphere of observation," says a strong 

144 Audubon's bet. 

thinker, " are in proportion to the force and 
number of the observer's faculties, studies, in- 
terests. In one given extent of space, or in one 
walk, one person will be struck by five objects, 
another by ten, another by a hundred, and some 
by none at all." Notice the minutest object, 
pick up even the smallest morsel of knowledge, 
retain the smallest fact, save the rustiest nail 
ever lying in the dust. Have patience, you 
will find the value of all at last. When Audu- 
bon was on a visit to the Natural Bridge in 
Virginia for the first time, he travelled a short 
distance with a farmer, who offered to bet that 
Audubon could not tell when he came to the 
Bridge. But Audubon stopped directly on 
the bridge, saying, " We are on it now." 
The astonished farmer inquired how he knew 
he was on the right spot. He explained by 
saying that he saw a little pee-wit, and know- 
ing that these little birds build their nests 
under bridges, he knew that the bridge could 
not be far off. There is scarcely a spot in 
creation, or a thing created, or an art among 
men, however humble, from which something 
may not be learned, or in which some beauty 


may not be discovered. " Lady Mary Wort- 
ley Montagu, on observing among the vil- 
Jagers of Tm'key the practice of inoculating 
for the small-pox, became convinced of its 
utility and efficacy, and applied it to her own 
son, at that time about three years old. By 
great exertions. Lady Mary afterwards estab- 
lished the practice of inoculation in England, 
thus conferring a lasting benefit on her native 
country and on mankind." I have never yet 
met the man in any station from whom I 
could not learn something. The great Mr. 
Locke was asked how he had contrived to ac- 
cumulate a mine of knowledge so rich, and 
yet so extensive and so deep ? He replied 
that he attributed what little he knew to not 
having been ashamed to ask for information ; 
^d to the rule he had laid down, of convers- 
ing with all descriptions of men, on those 
topics chiefly that formed their own peculiar 
professions or pursuits. 

Let me drop a hint on your habits of ob- 
serving character ; do not study to find what 
is uncouth or ludicrous or ridiculous in those 
whom you meet. Every one has more or less 


about him which partakes of weakness, and 
it may be of folly, which always seems ridic- 
ulous in others. But do not allow yourself 
the bad habit of noticing these little shades, 
dwelling on them, and perhaps detecting 
them for the amusement of others. In every 
one you can see something good. Seize upon 
that. Be like the bee which can find honey 
in almost every weed, even to the deadly 
nightshade, and not like the spider, which 
sucks poison from the fau'est flowers that 
creation affords. Every step in life will pre- 
sent you a thousand new things, minute, to be 
sure, but these all become a study, and if you 
cultivate the habit of close observation, you 
will be enriched, not by finding a great treasure 
at once, but by the accumulation of sands of 
pure gold. 

2. The habit of untiring industry is invalvr 

Those accomplish the most in life who can 
turn every moment of time to advantage. 
Some can work a short time and apparently 
despatch a great deal, but at the end of life 
have done but little. The power of despatch 


is a misfortune, if it be not accompanied by 
untiring industry. The hare could run fast 
for a while, but he must soon lie down to 
sleep, and while he rested, the tortoise passed 
him and run the race. To make each mo- 
ment do a little for us is the great secret of 
doing much. 

There is a story of a Chinese student who 
felt discouraged because when he shook the 
tree of knowledge only a single apple would 
drop at a time, and sometimes he had to 
shake a long time before any fell ; but he was 
encouraged one day to new efforts, which re- 
sulted in his reaching eminence, by seeing an 
old woman rubbing a crowbar on a stone to 
make her a needle ! President Dwight says, 
" Among all those who within my knowledge 
have appeared to become sincerely penitent 
and reformed, I recollect only a single lazy 
man ; and this man became industrious from 
the moment of his apparent, and, I doubt not, 
real conversion." No one can rely upon tal- 
ents, friends, opportunities, or attainments for 
success. The question ever recurring is, not 
what are your talents and ability, but, what 


can you, what do you, accomplish. The blows 
you strike may not be heavy, but let them be 
long continued. You must begin early in 
the morning and keep doing as long as the 
day lasts. Any thing but spasmodic efforts, 
now working a whole night, and then wast- 
ing whole days. He who becomes rich in 
money, learning, or attainments does so, not 
by rapid increase, but by that industry which 
continually adds small gains. Any man, with 
the habits of industry fixed upon him, will 
accomplish tenfold more than the most gifted 
without these habits. 

3. Punctuality. There are very few who 
have strength of character sufficient at all 
times to do now what we hope may be done 
to-morrow. Thus we put off acting at the 
right time, not because it will be easier done 
hereafter, but because we do not wish now to 
make the effort. "We make appointments 
and do not keep them punctually, and think 
little of it ; but we have no conception of the 
annoyance we cause our friends. We abuse 
their patience, consume their time, and lead 
them to distrust our promises in future. 


Melancthon says, when he had an appoint- 
ment, he expected not only the liour^ but the 
minute^ to be fixed, that the time might not 
run out in idleness or suspense. " The punc- 
tuahty of Dr. Chalmers's father was so well 
known, that his aunt, appearing one morn- 
ing too late at breakfast, and well knowing 
what awaited her if she exposed herself de- 
fenceless to the storm, thus managed to divert 
it. ' O Mr. Chalmers I ' she exclaimed, as 
she entered the room, ' I had such a strange 
dream last night ! I dreamt you were dead.' 
' Indeed ! ' said Mr. Chalmers, quite arrested 
by an announcement which bore so dnect- 
ly upon his own future history. ' And I 
dreamt,' she continued, ' that the funeral day 
was named, and the funeral hour was fixed, 
and the funeral cards were ^rritten; and the 
day came, and the folks came, and the hour 
came, but what do you think happened? Why 
the clock had scarce done chapping [striking] 
twelve, which had been the horn' named in the 
cards, when a loud knocking was heard within 
the coffin, and a voice, gey peremptory, and ill- 
pleased like, came out of it, saying, ' Twelve 's 


chappit, and ye 're no liftin'.' Mr. Chalmers 
was himself too great a humorist not to relish 
a joke so quickly and cleverly contrived, and 
in the hearty laugh which followed, the inge- 
nious culprit felt that she had accomplished 
more than an escape." Let only those follow 
her example who can equal her wit. 

We do not pretend to know the secrets of 
the lady's toilette, but we do know that some- 
how or other, when waiting for a lady to ac- 
company us at an appointed hour, we have 
often to wait a long time while she "just 
slips on her things, and will be ready in a 
moment." Whether it is our impatience for 
the return of her bright face, or whether it is 
because we know not the mysteries of just 
slipping on her things, — whatever it is, we do 
know that the wear and tear of patience is 
terrible, and we often wish she had said frank- 
1}^, " Sir, I have to hunt up my clothes, dress 
my hair, dust my bonnet, lace my boots, se- 
lect a collar, cologne my handkerchief, and I 
cannot possibly be ready under a full half- 
hour." So when the bell rings for breakfast, 
dinner, tea, or recitation, some one is always 

LORD brougham's RULES. 151 

a little too late, — always a little tardy, — a lit- 
tle late in rising, dressing, at meals, at church, 
— everywhere some one is behindhand. The 
rest wait, and run, and call, and try to aid 
her, and when at last she appears, you wish 
that, in addition to all that she has put on, she 
had adorned herself with one more garment of 
beauty, — the habit of being punctual. 

4. Next to this comes the habit of doing' 
every thing well. 

Some men make what they call rules of 
action ; but they always embrace industry, 
punctuality, and thoroughness. Jefferson had 
ten of these rules ; Lord Brougham has three. 
His Lordship's are the following : — 1. To 
be a Avhole man to one thing at a time. 2. 
Never lose any opportunity of doing any thing 
that can be done. 3. Never ent'eat others to 
do what you ought to do yourself. Many 
people are always in a hmiy, and resemble 
the squirrel in the revolving cage, who labors 
hard, and thinks he is travelling at a prodi- 
gious rate, while in fact he is standing on the 
same spot. Hurry is the mark of a weak 
mind, and those who have the habit mistake 

152 MR. condar's sprech. 

it for despatch. But they differ, as the sword 
which rattles and clashes only in the scab- 
bard is different from the Damascus blade 
that quietly does execution. Whatever you 
undertake to do, if it be nothing more than 
paring your nails, do it thoroughly, neatly, as 
well as you can. He who always does his 
best, even in small things, will hardly fail of 
attaining great excellence. At a soiree of the 
Sheffield Mechanics' Institute, Josiah Condar 
made the following remarks, Montgomery, the 
poet, being present. " I can look back to the 
time when, as a young man, I was guUty 
of the perhaps pardonable crime of writing 
verses, and I looked upon my valued friend, 
Mr. Montgomery, as my patron and master 
in poetry. I may be allowed to mention, 
that at that time I received from him a piece 
of advice, which I have found of great use in 
poetry and in^other matters, and I will repeat 
it, if you will forgive me, for the benefit of 
all. He said to me, when reading some of 
my juvenile poetry, and making his invalua- 
ble marks on the margin, ' Always do your 
best, and every time you will do better.' It 


has been of great use to me, for if I have 
produced any thing acceptable in poetry, it is 
owing to this advice." The young lady who 
will not allow her needle to take a single stitch 
which is not the best it can take, her pen to 
write a letter or a composition which is not the 
best she can w^ite, — who will not allow her- 
self to read a page aloud, nor to recite a les- 
son, nor to touch the piano, without doing her 
best, — will by and by accomplish, not only 
a great deal, but will astonish all around her 
by the degree of perfection she has attained. 
" A place for every thing, and every thing in 
its place," is essential to character. Many a 
young man has lost a valuable opportunity, 
and not a few young ladies have lost situa- 
tions, Idndnesses, and friends, because, though 
they sometimes excelled, it was not their 
habit always to do well. You must do your 
best in little things, on humble occasions, and 
in all circumstances, if you are to approach 
anywhere near the standard of perfection. 

5. Cultivate the habit of making others hap- 
py daily. 

Some confer very little happiness on others, 


because they really lack a generous, kind 
disposition ; but more fail because they know 
not what constitutes the happiness of life. 
They wait for great occasions, for opportli- 
nities to do good on a large scale, whereas 
few have these great opportunities, and most 
lack the power of using them when they do 
meet them. We can probably never be the 
means of saving a country or an army, or ol 
snatching a friend from the waters in which 
he is drowning, or from the dwelling in which 
he is burning. Dr. Johnson says truly, " He 
who waits to do a great deal of good at once, 
will never do any." We sigh for opportuni- 
ties to do some great and noble action, and 
perhaps dream in our reveries how we would 
do this or that, which would be so romantic 
and so noble, and thus life slides away while 
we are losing ten thousand opportunities of 
making others happy. I find in the course 
of my reading a recipe for making every day 
happy ; and if it were to be followed and 
copied, as you copy and follow the recipes 
in the cook-books, it would do a gi-eat deal 
for your enjoyment. It reads thus : — " When 


you rise in the morning, form a resolution to 
make the day a happy one to a fellow-crea- 
tm-e. It is easily done : a left-ofF garment to 
the man who needs it, a kind word to the 
sorrowful, an encouraging expression to the 
striving, trifles ' in themselves as light as air, 
will do it at least for the twenty-four hours ; 
and if you are young, depend upon it, it will 
tell when you are old. And if you are old, 
rest assured it will send you gently and hap- 
pily down the stream of human time to eter- 
nity. By the most simple arithmetical sum, 
look at the result. You send one person, 
only one, happily through the day ; that is 
tln-ee hundred and sixty-five in the course of 
the year, and supposing you live forty years 
after you commence this course of medicine, 
you have made one hundred and forty-six 
thousand beings happy, at all events for a 
time ; and this is supposing no relation or 
friend partakes of the feeling and extends the 
good. Now is not this simple? Is it not 
too easily accomplished for you to say, I 
would if I could ? Thus we may give a rose 
where we cannot gather a magnificent bou- 


quet. We may bestow the kind word, and the 
cheerful look, and the pleasant smile, where 
we cannot take off great burdens of sorrow, 
or add great things to the possession of our 
friends. " To think kindly of each other is 
well, to speak kindly of each other is better, 
but to act kindly one towards another is best 
of all." 

6. Make it a part of your duty to please. 

Those who think they can always please, will 
often disgust by their vanity ; those who never 
try, never will ; while those who attempt it as 
a part of life's duty, will often succeed. This 
disposition is a perennial flower which is beau- 
tiful and fragrant in summer and winter. It 
never fades. Let the young lady who desires 
to be beloved — and who does not? — remem- 
ber that " permanent beauty is not that which 
consists in symmetry of form, dignity of mien, 
gracefulness of motion, loveliness of color, reg- 
ularity of features, goodliness of complexion, 
or cheerfulness of countenance ; because age 
and disease, to which all are liable, and from 
which none are exempt, will, sooner or later, 
destroy all these. That alone is permanent 

Haydn's gladness. 157 

beauty which arises from the purity of the 
miiid and the sanctity of the heart, the agree- 
ableness of the manners and the chasteness 
of the conversation. J£ the outward form be 
handsome, it appears to greater advantage ; 
and if it be not so, it is as easily discerned, 
and as justly appreciated. That, therefore, 
which in the sight of God is of price, ought 
to be so in the judgment of men." 

7. The habit of being- and feeling' cheerful 
is of unspeakable value. 

We are not by nature equally amiable and 
cheerful ; but nature is given to us to improve 
upon. By culture, the wild rose of the hills 
becomes the charm of the green-house. The 
pure white lily is nurtured by the muddy bot- 
tom of the lake. It is easy to be pleased 
when every thing is as we desire it, but what 
we want to acquire and retain is the cheerful 
disposition. " It is more valuable than gold, 
it captivates more than beauty, and to the 
close of life retains all its freshness and its 
power." When Haydn was inquired of how 
it happened that his church music was always 
so cheerful, he made, this beautiful reply: 


" I cannot make it otherwise. I write it ac 
cording to the thoughts I feel ; when I think 
upon God, my heart is so full of joy that the 
notes dance and leap, as it were, from my 
pen ; and since God has given me a cheerful 
heart, it will be pardoned me that I serve him 
with a cheerful spirit." There are few spots 
on earth that are not sometimes warm with 
sunshine, few winds that do not purify the 
air, no storms that are not followed by a calm, 
and no situations in which there are not mer- 
cies mingled with our afflictions. Feltham 
says, " I know we read of Christ's weeping, 
not of his laughter, yet we see he graceth a 
feast with his first miracle, and that a feast 
of joy." The man who has gi'own up through 
the kindness of others, as we all have, and 
who will not, in his turn, try to aid and bless 
others, is like a tree, to use the figure of Pope, 
which will not bear fruit itself, nor suffer 
young plants to flourish beneath its shade. 
K there are waves, remember that they will 
soon sleep ; if there are winters, that summers 
are sure to follow ; if there are clouds, that we 
can look through them often, and that the sun 


is always shining beyond them. In the midst 
of troublous times, James Howel sent this 
beautiful consolation to his friends. " You 
know better than I, that all events, good or 
bad, come from the all-disposing high Deity 
of heaven ; if good, he produceth them, if bad, 
he permits them. He is the pilot that sits 
at the stern and steers the great vessel of the 
world ; and we must not presume to direct 
him in his course, for he understands the use 
of the compass better than we. He com- 
mands also the winds and the weather, and 
after a storm he never fails to send us a 
calm, and to recompense ill times with better, 
if we can live to see them." It is a great 
misfortune, especially to a young lady, to 
have a temper sour, morose, or melancholy. 
It is particularly necessary that women " ac- 
quire command of temper, because much of 
the effects of their powers of reasoning and 
of then- wit depends upon the gentleness and 
good-humor with which they conduct them- 
selves. A woman who should attempt to 
thunder with her tongue, would not find her 
eloquence increase her domestic happiness. 


"We do not wish that women should im- 
plicitly yield their better judgment to their 
friends ; but let them support the cause of 
reason with all the grace of female gentle- 
ness. A man in a furious passion is terrible 
to his enemies, a woman in a passion is dis- 
gusting to her friends ; she loses all the re- 
spect due to her sex, and she has not masculine 
strength and courage to enforce any other kind 
of respect. The happiness and influence of 
women, in every relation, so much depends 
on their temper^ that it ought to be most care- 
fully cultivated. "We should not suffer girls 
to imagine that they balance ill-humor by 
some good quality or accomplishment; be- 
cause, in fact, there are none which can sup- 
ply the want of temper in the female sex." 
And there are some who, though cheerful in 
their daily life, yet are unhappy in their re- 
ligion. To such I would recommend the 
advice of the Earl of Strafford to his son, 
just before his death : " And in all your du- 
ties and devotions towards God, rather per- 
form them joyfully than pensively, for God 
loves a cheerful giver." Let your heart re- 


joice in all the pleasant things with which he 
hath surrounded you. Enjoy all the friends 
with whom he hath blessed you, but when 
you come into his presence praise him for all 
these delights, and while you mourn your un- 
worthiness, dishonor him not ly your faith- 
lessness and your complainings of Ms provi- 




Conveniences of our Day. All under Law. Abuses among 
Good Men. Dr. Payson's Letter. Good Advice. The 
Two Extremes. John Howard's Testimony. His Experi- 
ence in full. Too much Care. The Conscientious Self- 
destroyer. Eecovery, — a Curious Case. Hints not Rules. 
Sleep, how much needed. Sir William Jones. A Curious 
Will. Importance of Habits. Mother's Cupboard. The 
Young Lady's Self-control. Exercise indispensable. Dr. 
Franklin's Experience. Mind ^Jnesponds with the Body. 
Cheerfulness essential to Health. 

So much is written and said on the subject 
of health at this day, — so many lectures are 
given, so many prescriptions are made, and 
so much complaint is made for the want of it, 
— that we should be inexcusable not to say 
something about it. We have so many con- 
veniences, stoves, furnaces, fm's, and shawls, 


SO many luxuries in food, so many thin, pa- 
per-soled shoes at this day, that good health 
has become almost like a ghost, — a thing 
much talked about, but seldom seen. Almost 
every affliction of the body, as well as of the 
mind, arises from the fact that we refuse to 
obey law. God has given the ten command- 
ments for the welfare of human society, and 
no one can be universally violated without 
destroying society, and no one can be partial- 
ly violated without injuring society just in 
proportion as it is violated. So he has given 
laws for the body, — not spoken, indeed, on 
Sinai, but written on the body, — laws which 
cannot be violated without injuring the health. 
These laws often clash with our wishes and 
habits, but they are inexorable. We must 
obey them or suffer. I would that all, while 
they are young, would improve every advan- 
tage which they have for learning these laws of 
physiology, — understand them thoroughly, — 
and then they would be none too careful in 
thek observance. While we are young, feel 
buoyant and elastic, we hardly know when 
we violate the laws of our system, or if we 


do know, we feel that it is of little conse- 
quence. Do not be deceived. Depend upon 
it, for every violation of these laws, you have 
some day to render an account; and to pay 
a penalty, probably, by suffering. Is it not 
strange that many, who feel that they are in- 
excusable for wasting their property, or their 
minds, are yet wholly indifferent to the health, 
or rather, that they should think they may 
violate all the laws of their being, and yet be 
healthy? Even the best of men, clergymen, 
think it wrong to spend time for the special 
and sole purpose of exercise ; forgetting that 
God designed that men should earn their 
bread by the sweat of the brow, and therefore 
he has made it a law, that we must work, 
exercise, or be invalids, or go to an early 
grave. Says the late Dr. Payson, writing to 
a young clergyman : " I am very sorry to learn 
that your health is not better, but rather 
worse. Should it not have improved before 
you receive this, I beg you will attend to it 
without delay : attend to it as your first and 
chief duty, for such be assured it is. ' A 
merciful man is merciful to his beast,' and 

DR. payson's letter. 165 

you must be merciful to your beast; or, as 
Mr. M. would say, to your animal. Remem- 
ber that it is your Master's property, and he 
will no more thank you for driving it to death, 
than an earthly master would thank a servant 
for riding a valuable horse to death, under 
pretence of zeal for his interest. The truth 
is, I am afraid Satan has jumped on to the 
saddle, and when he is there in the guise of 
an angel of light, he whips and spurs at a 
most unmerciful rate, as every joint in my poor 
broken-winded animal can testify from woful 
experience. He has temptations for the con- 
science, as Mr. Newton well observes ; and 
when other temptations fail, he makes great 
use of them. Many a poor creature has he 
ridden to death by using his conscience as a 
spur, and you must not be ignorant, nor act 
as it you were ignorant, of his devices. Re- 
member Mr. Brainerd's remark, that diversions 
rightly managed increased rather than dimin- 
ished his spirituality. I now feel that I am 
never serving our Master more acceptably, 
than when, for his sake, I am using means to 
preserve my health and lengthen my life ; and 


you must feel in a similar manner if you 
mean to do him service in the world. He 
knows what you would do for him if you 
could. Do not think less favorably of him 
than you would of a judicious father. Do 
not think that such a father would require 
labor when he enjoins rest or relaxation. 
E/ide then, or go a fishing, or employ yourself 
in any way which will exercise the body 
gently, without wearying the mind. Above 
all, make trial of the shower-bath." 

There are, I am well aware, two extremes. 
The one, when you take no care of your 
health ; when you go out with shoes that 
seem as if made to defy consumptions, colds, 
or coughs, — so thin that they seem good for 
nothing but to keep the wet in, and the foot 
cold ; when you set the elements at defiance 
by the smallest quantity of clothing ; when 
you eat any thing and every thing without 
regard to quantity or quality ; when you are 
irregular in all your hours and habits of sleep 
and rest ; and when you never feel that you 
are responsible for the welfare of your body. 
The other extreme is when you give your 

JOHN Howard's testimony. 167 

thoughts too much to health, and feel that 
fresh air is deadly poison ; that cold water 
brings consumption, or chills ; that exercise 
cannot be taken in any proportion to the 
wants of the system. These extremes are to 
be avoided. In a climate so fickle as ours, so 
cold and so hot, where the greatest changes 
may take place in a few hom's, it will not do 
to be too confident. But this very alterna- 
tion — now bracing you up with the severe 
cold of winter, and now pouring upon you the 
brightest of all suns in summer — requires 
care, attention, and much careful exercise. I 
am satisfied, that if, when youngs you will pay 
proper attention to this subject, you may 
hope, not only for a long life, but a life of 
vigor, of energy, and of high enjoyment. I 
cannot forbear quoting in this place the ex- 
perience of John Howard, as related in his 
own simple, but beautiful language. " A 
more puny whipster than myself in the days 
of my youth was never seen. I could not 
walk out an evening without wrapping up. 
If I got wet in the feet, a cold succeeded. I 
could not put on my shirt without its being 

168 JOHN Howard's testimony. 

aired. I was politely enfeebled enough to 
have delicate nerves, and was occasionally 
troubled with a very genteel hectic. To be 
serious, I am convinced that whatever emas- 
culates the body debilitates the mind, and 
renders both unfit for those exertions which 
are of such use to us, as social beings. I" 
therefore entered upon a reform of my consti- 
tution, and have succeeded in such a degree, 
that I have neither had a cough, cold, vapors, 
nor any more alarming disorder, since I sur- 
mounted the seasoning. Prior to this, I used 
to be a miserable dependent on wind and 
weather; a little too much of either would 
postpone, and frequently prevent, not only my 
amusements, but my duties. And every one 
knows, that a pleasure or a duty deferred is 
often destroyed. If, pressed by my affections, 
or by the necessity of affairs, I did venture 
forth, in despite of the elements, the conse- 
quences were equally absurd and incommodi- 
ous, not seldom afflictive. I muffled up, even 
to my nostrils. A crack in the glass of my 
chaise was sufficient to distress me ; a sudden 
slope of the wheels to the right or left set me 


a trembling ; a jolt seemed like a dislocation ; 
and the sight of a bank or precipice, near 
which my horse or carriage was to pass, 
would disorder me so much, that I would 
order the driver to stop, that I might get out, 
and walk by the difficult places. Mulled 
wine, spirituous cordials, and great fires were 
to Comfort me, and keep out the cold, as it is 
called, at every stage ; and if I felt the least 
damp in my feet, or other parts of my body, 
dry stockings, linen, &c. were to be instantly 
put on, the perils of the day were to be baffled 
by something taken hot, going to bed ; and 
before I pursued my journey the next day, a 
dram was to be swallowed down to fortify 
the stomach. In a word, I lived, moved, and 
had my being so much by rule, that the 
slightest deviation was a disease. 

" Every man must, in these cases, be his 
own physician. He must prescribe for and 
practise on himself. I did this by a very sim- 
ple, but, as you will think, a very severe regi- 
men ; namely, by denying myself almost every 
thing in which I had long indulged. But as 
it is always much harder to get rid of a bad 


habit than to contract it, I entered on my re- 
form gradually, that is to say, I began to 
diminish my usual indulgences by degrees. 
I found that a heavy meal, or a hearty one as 
it is termed, and a cheerful glass, that is to 
say, one more than does you good, made me 
incapable, or at best disinclined to any useful 
exertion for some hours after dinner ; and if 
the diluting powers of tea assisted the work 
of a disturbed digestion so far as to restore 
my faculties, a luxurious supper came so 
close upon it, that I was fit for nothing but 
dissipation, till I went to a luxurious bed; 
where I finished the enervating practices, by 
sleeping eight, ten, and sometimes a dozen 
hours on a stretch. You will not wonder that 
I arose the next morning with the solids re- 
laxed, the nerves unstrung, the juices thick- 
ened, and the constitution weakened. To 
remedy all this, I ate a little less at every 
meal, and reduced my drink in proportion. 

" It is really wonderful to consider how, im- 
perceptibly, a single morsel of animal food 
and a teaspoonful of liquor deducted from the 
usual quantity daily, will restore the mental 


functions without any injury to the corporal, 
nay, with increased vigor to both. I brought 
myself, in the first instance, from dining upon 
many dishes, to dining on a few ; and then to 
being satisfied with one. 

" My next business was to eat sparingly of 
the adopted dish. My ease, vivacity, and 
spirits augmented. My clothing, &c. under- 
went a similar reform ; the effect of all which 
is and has been for many years, that I am 
neither affected by seeing my carriage dragged 
up a high mountain or driven down a valley. 
K an accident happen, I am prepared for it, I 
mean, so far as it respects unnecessary ter- 
rors, and I am proof against all changes in the 
atmosphere, wet clothes, wet feet, night air, 
damp houses, transitions from heat to cold, 
and the long train of hypochondriac affec- 
tions. Believe me, we are too apt to invert 
the remedies which we ought to prescribe to 
ourselves. For instance, we are for ever giv 
ing hot things when we should give cold." 

There are no specific rules to be given as to 
health. We can give only hints. 

1. Remember, that, while young, you as 


much decide the question what your health 
shall be in after life, as you do what your 
mind shall be. The habits now formed, the 
train now laid, either for health or feeble- 
ness, will show itself hereafter. Form no 
habits of eating, drinking, sleeping, or dress- 
ing which are not for life, — none which you 
would not be willing to own as your habits 
as long as you live. It costs much less to 
form a right habit now, than it will to correct 
a bad habit and form a new one in after 
years. Therefore eat as you mean to eat, 
sleep, exercise, and do just as you hope to do 
all the way through life. 

2. Early rising is essential to health. 

^ome lay down the principle, that no one 
needs more than six hours of sleep. I do not 
believe that. They might as well say that 
we need only so many ounces of food. We 
differ in constitution. The food or the sleep 
which would be ample for one man is very 
inadequate for another. One needs no more 
than six, or even five hours, while another needs 
seven or eight, for his rest. As all do not 
wear out the system equally fast, or as all 


do not recover equally fast, we can have no 
specific rule. Each must judge for himself; 
but all agree, that early rising is essential to 
health. You will find men of eighty years 
of age, some who have been very temperate 
in food and drink ; others that have eaten 
and drank when and what they pleased ; some 
who have lived in doors and some without ; 
•but they all agree in this, that early rising was 
a habit with them all. Sir William Jones says 
to a friend, " I am well, rising constantly be- 
t\veen three and four, and usually walldng 
two or three miles before sunrise." In order 
to rise early, therefore, it is essential that you 
retire early ; and as soon as the duties of the 
day are over, you cannot be too quickly on 
your pillow. The first sleep of the night is 
much more refreshing than that of the latter 
part of the night. To many, one of the hard- 
est duties connected with the discipline of 
school is that of early rising. But who ever 
accomplished much, or satisfied his own con- 
science, without being in this habit ? In the 
will of the late James Sergeant, of the Bor- 
ough of Leicester, is the following clause 



relative to early rising : — "As my nephews 
are fond of indulging in bed in a morning, 
and as I wish them to improve the time while 
they are young, I direct that they shall prove, 
to the satisfaction of my executors, that they 
have got out of bed in the morning, and either 
employed themselves in business or taken ex- 
ercise in the open air from five o'clock till 
eight every morning, from the 5th of April to 
the 10th of October, being three hours each 
day; and from seven o'clock till nine in the 
morning, from the 10th of October to the 
5th of April, being two hours- every morning, 
for two years. This to be done for some two 
years during the first seven years to the satis- 
faction of my executors, who may excuse 
them in case of illness, but the task must be 
made up when they are well ; and if they do 
not do this, they shall not receive any share 
of my property." 

To rise early till it becomes a habit and a 
pleasure, requires a strong will and prompt 
action. You can easily acquire the habit of 
awaking at any given hour, provided you act 
promptly, and rise the moment the time has 

mother's cupboard. 175 

come. There must be no dreading it, no dal- 
lying, no postponing. " K you once tin-n 
over on your side after the hour at which you 
ought to rise, it is all over with you." There 
is no time when the mind is so fresh, so elas- 
tic, so vigorous and young, as early in the 
morning. And there is nothing which goes 
to promote the health of the body lilie it. 
The Spaniards are famous for their proverbs. 
One of them reads on this wise. " He that 
sleeps too long in the morning, let him bor- 
row the pillow of a debtor." 

3. Be simple in food and drinks. 
All who have been away from home to 
school are aware, that, of all places in the 
world, this is the most hungry. And the cases 
are not few, when the scholar, and the parent 
too, imputes this appetite to being stinted in 
food designedly on the part of the school. 
I need not go into the philosophy of the 
thing. A young lady at her father's table 
feels, of course, free to eat all she can, and 
more than is for her good. In addition to 
this, her mother's cupboard was always open 
to her, and many a bit does she eat between 


meals. She does not wait to feel hungry at 
home, she only waits long enough to think 
of food, when she eats. When, therefore, 
she goes from home, she is cut off from the 
between-meal system, and at the table she 
feels less at liberty to indulge. The conse- 
quence is, that she feels hungry, and that 
feeling is so new and so strange, that she is 
alarmed, and begins to look round and see 
who is so cruel as to allow her to feel the 
sensation of hunger. To be sure she is al- 
most a martyr now. But does not her health 
improve ? Yes ; but she feels hungry ! Does 
not the bloom gather on her cheek, and she 
look like the picture of health ? Yes ; but 
she feels hungry I She acts and wants to act 
from appetite, and not from principle. To 
prove this is so, let the young lady have a 
large box arrive from home, and let her have 
it in her room ; let it be filled with chicken- 
pie, roast turkey, mince-pies, loaf-cake, pound- 
cake, and, above all, the black, most sticky 
fruit-cake, — and how long will it be before 
the said young lady has a dreadful head- 
ache, and is very sick, and must lay aside her 


books, and have the doctor, and swallow jalap 
and ipecac, castor-oil and senna, and all the 
good things in which he deals ? Not one in 
fifty, I am safe in saying, could receive and 
use such a box from home without being sick. 
And yet they feel that they can hardly eat 
too much or too rich food, and that a plain, 
simple diet is not for then- good, but the good 
of those who provide for them. 

4. To enjoy healthy you must take some 
regular exercise. 

We may quarrel with the' law, may forget 
it, nay, plead that we cannot be under it; 
but yet God has so fixed it that we cannot 
long remain well without exercise. The best 
exercise is in the clear, pure, out-of-door at- 
mosphere. You ought not to be near a fire 
when you exercise. It is the air, the pure 
air that suiTOunds us, and in which we are 
bathed, that does us so much good as we go 
out. "What is called going out and taking 
the air, is really taking a medicine. Says 
Dr. Franklin : " In considering the different 
kinds of exercise, I have thought that the 

quantum of each is to be judged of, not by 

178 DR. franklin's experience. 

time or by distance, but by the degree of 
warmth it produces in the body ; thus, when 
I observe that if I am cold when I get into a 
carriage in the morning, I may ride all day 
without being warmed by it ; that if on horse- 
back my feet are cold, I may ride some hours 
before they become warm ; but if I am ever 
so cold on foot, I cannot walk an hour briskly 
without glowing from head to foot by the 
quickened circulation : I have been ready to 
say (using round numbers without regard to 
exactness, but merely to make a great differ- 
ence), that there is more exercise in one mile's 
riding on horseback, than in five in a carriage, 
and more in one mile's walldng on foot, than 
in five on horseback ; to which I may add, that 
there is more in one mile up and down stairs 
than in five on a level floor, and this last may 
be had when one is pinched for time, and as 
containing a greater quantity of exercise in a 
' handful of minutes.' " 

Some most unfortunate young ladies have 
imbibed the notion, that exercise will spoil 
that excessive delicacy and that softness 
which, as they think, is so lady-like, and so 


becoming to them. Let .them know that we 
can well spare the lily when the rose comes 
to take its place. I know not how it is, but 
among men we expect to find few brains, few 
thoughts, and very little character, in a case 
that is not robust, strong, and vigorous. 
" Strong men are usually good-humored and 
active men, and often display the same elas- 
ticity of mind as of body. These superiori- 
ties, indeed, are often misused. But even for 
these things God shall call us to judgment." 

5. To enjoy good healthy you must cultivate 

A sour, gloomy mind fills the body with 
negative electricity, so that it repels whoever 
and whatever comes near it. I am aware 
that some are born under an evil star, and 
seldom see the sun when it shines. We can- 
not all be and feel equally cheerful. But we 
can cultivate cheerfulness. We can look on 
the sunny side of our dwelling, and not al- 
ways on the shady side. We can believe 
that the present evils are transitory, and will 
soon go past. We may believe that those 
who surround us are not enemies, but friend^ ; 


that those who are our teachers or compan- 
ions are all friends ; that our cncumstances 
are not bad, but good ; and that if we have 
trials now, they are for a day only, and are 
for our good. We may believe that a kind 
Providence watches over us for good^ and 
that all that pertains to our well-being, in 
this world and the next, is in the hands of 
Infinite Wisdom and Goodness. 



No Excuse for us. Bible worn on the Neck. Eusebius's Tes- 
timony. Bible committed to Memory. Primitive Custom. 
Cool Water from the Spnng. " Let us begin again." The 
Embarrassed Merchant. The Bible Hawker. Eifty Cen- 
times. Garden of the Lord. Commit it accurately. Eight 
Thousand Verses a Year. Do not omit a Day. Bible in 
the Trunk. Ice broken. Not a Bad Idea. Sixteen Bible 
Clerks. Chinaman's Experience. Bible in Yucatan. Con- 
cordance a Help. Let your Faith be strong. A Lamp to 
the Feet. Suited to every Thing. 

My young friends may not realize how pre- 
cious the word of God has been to all gen- 
erations who have had the opportunity to read 
it. We probably feel that now, when every 
child has a Bible, perhaps beautifully printed 
and bound, we have no excuse for neglecting 
to read the Scriptures. Is she aware how 


much more it depends on the state of the 
heart than upon the conveniences we enjoy ? 
Is she aware, that in the generations past, 
before the beautiful page of the Bible was 
printed, this book was read with a faithful- 
ness never since excelled ? I cannot forbear 
transcribing the testimony to their earnest 
love for this best of all books, and I think you 
will say it is none too long. 

" At a time when the copies of the sacred 
volume were all in m^-nuscript, and very 
scarce, being so dear as to be beyond the 
reach of many to purchase, and when multi- 
tudes of those who had been converted to 
Christianity were unacquainted with the first 
elements of reading, the great majority of 
them were conversant with the pliraseology 
and the matter of the word of life, to a de- 
gree that might well put modern Christians 
to shame. Those of the men who could 
read never went abroad without carrying a 
Bible in their pockets, while the women wore 
it hanging about their necks, and by frequent- 
ly refreshing their memories by private pe- 
rusal, and drawing little groups of anxious 


listeners around them, they acquked so famil- 
iar an acquaintance with the " lively oracles," 
that there were few who could not repeat 
those passages that contained any thing re- 
markable respecting the doctrines of their 
faith, or the precepts of their duty. Nay, 
there were many who had made the rare and 
enviable attainment of being able to say the 
entire Scriptures by heart. One person is 
mentioned among the martyrs of Palestine, 
so weU instructed in the sacred writings, 
that, when occasion offered, he could, from 
memory, repeat passages'* in any part of the 
Scriptm-e, as exactly as if he had unfolded 
the book and read them ; a second, being un- 
acquainted Avith letters, used to invite friends 
and Christian strangers to his house to read 
to him, by which means he acquired an ex- 
tensive knowledge x)f the sacred oracles ; and 
another may be mentioned of whom the de- 
scription is so extraordinary, that we shall 
give it in the words of the historian, Eusebi- 
us, who knew him : ' Whenever he willed, 
he brought forth, as from a repository of sci- 
ence, and rehearsed, either the law of Moses, 


or the prophets, or the historical, evangelical, 
and apostolical parts of Scripture. Indeed, I 
was struck with admiration when I first be- 
held him standing amidst a considerable mul- 
titude, and reciting ^rtain portions of holy 
writ. As long as I could only hear his voice, 
I supposed that he was reading ; but when I 
came close up to him, I discovered that, em- 
ploying only the eyes of his mind, he uttered 
the divine oracles like some prophet.' Every 
day it was the practice for each individual to 
commit a portion of Scripture to memory, 
and for the members of a family to repeat it 
to each other in the evening. So much was 
this custom regarded as part of the ordinary 
business of the day, that they had a set time 
appointed for conning the daily lesson, — an 
hour which, though every individual fixed it 
as suited his private conveijience, was held so 
precious and sacred, that no secular duties, 
however urgent, were allowed to infringe up- 
on it ; and while some, who had their time at 
their own disposal, laid their memories under 
larger contributions, and never relaxed their 
efforts till they had completed the daily task 



they had imposed upon themselves, others 
were obliged to content themselves ^\dth such 
shorter passages as they could learn during 
the intervals of labor, and amidst the distrac- 
tions of other cares. By all classes, however, 
it was considered so gi-eat an advantage, so 
desirable an attainment, to have the memory 
richly stored with the records of salvation, 
that, while in the lapse of time many ancient 
practices became obsolete, and others more 
suited to the taste of succeeding ages were 
adopted into the Church, this excellent custom 
still maintained its place among the venerable 
observances inherited from primitive times ; 
and the pious Christians of the first centuries 
would have regarded it as a sin of omission, 
for which they had occasion expressly to sup- 
plicate pardon in their evening devotions, 
if they were conscious of having allowed a 
day to pass without having added some new 
pearls from the Scriptures to the sacred treas- 
ures then' memory had previously amassed." 

Every one knows that the food which he 
has had from childhood is that which suits 
his health and taste ; he may occasionally 


vary his diet, but he soon feels that he is the 
loser. So he who daily reads the Scriptures 
wiU soon find, not only that they are neces- 
sary to him, but delightful to the spirit. 
There is no other reading which will not 
pall upon the taste, when you come to read 
it again and again. But the Bible, like the 
air of morning and like the cool water from 
the spring, is always fresh and pleasant. It 
is important to read the Scriptures daily, 
and I cannot too earnestly urge you to let 
nothing come in to prevent it. Read your 
Bible alone ; not here and there a chapter, but 
in a continuous course. Three chapters read 
daily, as they average, will carry you through 
the Bible every year ; and four daily will add 
the Psalms and the New Testament a second 
time. By accident, I lately discovered that a 
friend of mine, and he not a very old man, 
had read his Bible in course thu'ty-eight times 
through in the last eleven years. What bet- 
ter way could he have taken for increase in 
mental strength, in knowledge of God, and 
for growth of character ? Fifteen minutes of 
reading daily will carry you through the Bi- 


ble once every year of your life. Whether 
the reader of the Bible be learned or illiterate, 
the result is the same, — he loves the book 
the more, the longer he reads it. During the 
time that Dr. Kennicott was employed in col- 
lating the Hebrew Scriptures (a work which 
occupied the last thirty years of his life), it 
was Mrs. Kennicott' s constant office, in their 
daily airings, to read to him the different por- 
tions to which his immediate attention was 
called. When preparing for their " ride, the 
day after this great work was completed, 
upon her asking him what book she should 
now take, " O," exclaimed he, " let us begin 
the Bible I " 

It is not merely that the Bible lights up the 
path of the soul beyond this life, but it now 
sheds a light that is like a lamp to om* feet. 
It soothes the troubled spirit, hushes every 
passion of the soul, and lifts the clouds of 
fear and of sorrow from the heart. It is like 
bathing the soul in the waters of life. A dy- 
ing merchant leaves the following beautiful 
testimony of his own experience : - — " Last 
year I became considerably embarrassed in 


business. On Saturday evening I would 
come home, not knowing how I should meet 
the obligations of the following week, and 
with my mind so distracted, that it seemed as 
if the Sabbath would be worse than lost. I 
was then teaching a Bible-class. With sad- 
ness I would sit down to prepare the lesson 
for the next day; but as I advanced, truth 
took possession of my mind, faith took the 
place of distrust, and hope of fear. I was led 
almost insensibly to leave my afFans with my 
covenant God. And invariably I found these 
Sabbaths precious and delightful. And, more- 
over, in returning to business on Monday, a 
way was always provided to meet my re- 

We who have always had a fulness of 
bread, have little conception how sweet it 
tastes to those who have it not ; and I some- 
times fear that we who have had the precious 
word of life in our hands all our days, are 
unable to appreciate the greatness of the 
, blessing. Let us look into one of the little 
cottages of the poor in France, and see how a 
part of the Bible can tm-n it into a palace, by 


making the soul a temple of the great God. 
A haAvker presented himself at the door of a 
hut, situated on the skirts of a wood. A poor 
old woman opened the door to him. No 
sooner had he offered her a Testament, than 
she seized his hand with an air of gratitude, 
and said, — 

" I thank you, I already possess this book, 
and have a debt to pay you." 

" I have never seen you before," replied the 

" I will tell you how it happened," said the 
woman. " Six years ago, a haw^ker passed 
this way ; he offered me this book, but I had 
not sufficient money to pay for it ; fifty cen- 
times (fivepence) was a great sum for me, 
and still I had a great longing to possess the 
book. Your friend, who observed this, said to 
me, ' Take it. I leave it with you ; if you 
have no money to pay for it, you will pay it 
to the first hawker who passes after me.' I 
accepted his offer. At first I thought the 
book sufficiently expensive ; but when I be- 
gan to read it, I considered it cheap ; I then 
began to put a few half-pence aside, but as I 


advanced, I found in it so many beautiful 
things, that I added now and then a few more 
half-pence. I have known many unhappy 
hours, I have been sometimes without bread, 
but not for all the world would I have touched 
this money." 

As she said this, the poor woman produced 
the fruit of six years' economy. It amounted 
to five francs, which she consigned with joy 
to the hawker, telling him that she did not 
consider that she could ever pay for the book 
its real value ; that to her it was worth more 
than a thousand francs, but that she gave aU 
that she had. 

When I m'ge the daily reading of the Bi- 
ble, I do not mean reading it as you read 
other books, — passing along, and letting 
what will impress the memory and the heart. 
It is a book spiritually discerned, and you 
need to pause often and contemplate the 
fields you are passing over. A few hasty 
glances are not sufficient ; you should stop 
before every tree, and examine every flower, 
and admire every shrub, for you are in the 
garden of the Lord, and every tree and plant 


and flower was planted by the hand of your 
Heavenly Father. " I would recommend you," 
says one, " to pause at any verse of Scripture 
you choose, and shake, as it were, every bouglv 
of it, that, if possible, some fruit, at least, may 
drop down to you. Should this mode appear 
somewhat difficult to you at fii*st, and no 
thought suggest itself immediately to your 
mind capable of affording matter for a short 
ejaculation, yet persevere, and try another 
and another bough. If your soul really hun- 
gers, the Spirit of the Lord will not send you 
away empty ; you shall at length find in one, 
and that perhaps a short, verse of Scripture, 
such an abundance of delicious fruit, that 
you will gladly seat yourself under the shade, 
and abide there as under a tree laden with 

I cannot but urge you to commit as much 
of the Bible to memory as you possibly can. 
Be sure to commit it accurately^ in the very 
words of the Bible. You will find in after 
life, in the day of sickness, when on journeys, 
when in the thronged city, when the eyes fail, 
when old age overtakes you, or when you 


hear the Bible questioned, or its truths de- 
nied, or allusions or quotations made in the 
pulpit, — you will find that every verse which 
you committed to memory will be invaluable. 
At first it will seem a task, but begin by 
committing one or two verses each day, and 
the memory will shortly become so strong as 
to retain whatever you call upon it to retain. 
Many complain of a bad memory when they 
have been too indolent to task it, and have 
abused and slandered it, instead of trusting 
to its strength. Do not blame your hooks till 
you have hung something upon them. In a 
Sunday school in Southwark, one boy repeat- 
ed to his teacher a total of above six thousand 
verses of Scripture in one year. Another boy 
in the same school committed to memory 
and repeated to his teacher a total of over 
eight thousand verses, in one year, which 
formed an aggregate of one hundred, and fifty 
verses every week. These were remarkable 
cases, perhaps ; but I have been surprised, in 
my own experience, to see how readily the 
memory retains the Bible, when the habit is 
cultivated. It seems as if its simple language 


and beautiful imagery were peculiarly adapt- 
ed to the memory, provided you are careful 
to commit it accurately. I cannot too ear- 
nestly insist that you give your whole, undi- 
vided attention to the wpidi of God while 
your eyes are fixed upon it. Do not let the 
thoughts wander, do not allow any thing else 
to intrude upon you. When Patrick Henry 
was near the close of his life, he laid his hand 
on the Bible, and addressed a friend who was 
with him, " Here is a book worth more than 
all others printed, yet it is my misfortune 
never to have read it with proper attention 
until lately." 

Let me urge upon you as a matter of the ut- 
most importance, that you daily, in all circum- 
stances and conditions, read a portion of your 
Bible, — in the hotel, the steamboat, on the 
visit to friends, or wherever you are. Perhaps 
the latter place is where you will be most in 
danger of neglecting it. You are on a visit 
at your acquaintance's or friend's house ; the 
hour of retiring arrives ; you have been accus- 
tomed at that hour to open the word of God. 
You are now engaged in conversation ; in the 


review of the day and in plans for the mor- 
row : before you are aware, you will find 
you are tempted to lay your head on the pil- 
low, and neglect the reading. I would most 
fervently urge you not to do it. Most likely, 
the very friend on whose account you put 
aside your best Friend is doing the very 
same thing on your account. 

" When I was a young man," says a clergy- 
man, " I was a clerk in Boston. Two of my 
room-mates at my boarding-house were also 
clerks, about my own age, which was eighteen. 
The first Sunday morning, during the three or 
four long hours that elapsed from getting up to 
bell-ringing for church, I felt a secret desire to 
get a Bible, which my mother had given me, 
out of my trunk, and read it ; for I had been 
so brought up by my parents as to regard it 
as a duty at home to read a chapter or two 
every Sunday. I was now very anxious to 
get my Bible and read, but I was afraid to do 
so before my room-mates, who were reading 
some miscellaneous books. At length, my 
conscience got the mastery, and I rose up, 
and went to my trunk. I had half raised 


it, when the thought occurred to me that it 
, might look like over-sanctity, and Pharisaical, 
so I shut my trunk, and returned to the win- 
dow. For twenty minutes I was miserably 
ill at ease. I felt I was doing wrong. I 
started a second time for my trunk, and I 
had my hand upon the little Bible, when 
the fear of being laughed at conquered the 
better emotion, and I again dropped the 
top of the trunk. As I turned away from it, 
one of my room-mates, who observed my ir- 
resolute movements, said laughingly, ' What 's 
^ the matter ? You seem as restless as a weath- 
ercock I ' 

" I replied by laughing in my turn ; and 
then, conceiving the truth to be the best, 
frankly told them both what was the matter. 

" To my surprise and delight, they both 
spoke up and averred that they both had 
Bibles in their trunks, and both had been se- 
cretly wishing to read in them, but were afraid 
to take them out lest I should laugh at them. 

" ' Then,' said I, ' let us agree to read them 
every Sunday, and we shall have the laugh 
aU on one side.' 


" To this there was a hearty response, and 
the next moment the three Bibles were out ; 
and I assure you we felt happier all that day 
for reading in them that morning. 

" The following Sunday, about ten o'clock, 
while we were each reading our chapters, two 
of our fellow-boarders from another room came 
in. When they saw how we were engaged 
they stared, and then exclaimed, ' Bless us ! 
what is all this ? A conventicle ? ' 

" In reply, I, smiling, related to them exactly 
how the matter stood ; my struggle to get my 
Bible from my trunk, and how we three, hav- 
ing found we had all been afraid of each other 
without cause, had now agreed to read every 
Sunday. ' Not a bad idea,' answered one 
of them. ' You have more courage than I 
have. I have a Bible, too, but have not looked 
into it since I have been in Boston I But I '11 
read it after this since you 've broken the ice.' 
The other then asked one of us to read 
aloud, and both sat quietly and listened till 
the bell rang for church. That evening, we 
three in the same room agreed to have a 
chapter read every night by one or the other 


of US at nine o'clock, and we religiously ad- 
hered to our purpose. A few evenings after 
this resolution, four or five of the boarders 
(for there were sixteen clerks boarding in 
the house) happened to be in bur room talk- 
ing, when the nine-o'clock bell rang. One 
of my room-mates, looking at me, opened 
the Bible. The others looked inquiringly. 
I then explained our custom. ' We '11 all 
stay and listen,' they said, almost unani- 

" The result was, that, without an exception, 
every one of the sixteen clerks spent his Sab- 
bath morning in reading in the Bible ; and 
the moral effect upon our household was of 
the highest character. I relate this incident," 
concluded the clergyman, "to show what in- 
fluence one person, even a youth, may exert 
for evil or good. No man should ever be 
afraid to do his duty. A hundred hearts may 
throb to act right, that only await a leader. 
I forget to add, that we were all called Bible 
clerks ! All these youths are now useful and 
Christian men, and more than one is laboring 
in the ministry." 

198 chinaman's experience. 

The fact that the Bible can be understood 
and enjoyed only by a heart under the influ- 
ence of the Spirit who gave it, is a great fact, 
to be remembered. You cannot relish read- 
ing it if the mind is given up to lightness, 
frivolity, and worldly pleasures. A Chinaman 
who had learned to read the Bible, being in- 
quired of how he liked the book," returned it, 
saying, " I like the book better than the book 
like me." As fast, therefore, as you can bring 
your mind and heart into conformity with 
the spirit of this blessed book, the higher 
will be your enjoyments and the greater your 
profit in its study. We sometimes read of 
the effects of a single copy of the word of 
God, and see what wonderful power it has 
in particular cases, thus showing us what 
power it would always have were there not 
some particular thing to prevent it. Take, 
for example, the following, and try to answer 
the question why every Bible does not have 
as great an influence, and especially why not 
as great upon your soul. A Roman Catho- 
lic priest lived in Yucatan, about the end of 
the last century, and near to the British settle- 


ment, who was in the habit of preaching from 
a Spanish Bible, which somehow had fallen 
into his possession. He was forbidden to do 
so, but persevered, and was cast into prison, 
where he was left to die. His old house- 
keeper got his Bible, and read fi'om it to the 
villagers and young people who assembled 
around her on the feast days of the Church. 
She not only instructed them, but was often 
sent for by the dying. The Bible was left 
to a young woman who was the pupil of this 
housekeeper, and who, with others, when ad- 
vanced in life, came seeking books from Mr. 
Henderson in Balize. Discovering an in- 
structed mind and unusual regard for the 
Scriptures, inquiry was made, and the pre- 
ceding facts came into explanation. Here 
was a Bible passing through three genera- 
tions and blessing each ; and yet for ftfty 
years the good it had done was unknown be- 
yond its immediate hearers ! 

Should every copy of the word of God 
perform such a mission, how rapidly would 
the face of the world be* altered! Should 
your copy have a like power over your soul, 


how soon would it assimilate your will and 
heart and soul to the character of God ! 

It would be very convenient for you to 
have a small Concordance with your Bible, — 
since no Scriptm-e is of private interpretation, 
and must be explained one Scripture by an- 
other. Sometimes a Bible Dictionary is a 
great help. But of all aids to the under- 
standing of the Scriptures, the references and 
the Concordance are the best. 

Allow me to urge one thing more with all 
the fervency of my soul. I mean, take the 
Bible as God's word, — inspired, unerring, 
the standard of appeal, and the end of all in- 
quiry. What you there find revealed, receive 
as God's truth. It may be you cannot ex- 
plain it, or understand it fully, but you can 
believe it. If there be any one point at 
wlfich I would have you set a special guard, 
it is the point of receiving the Bible as aU. 
inspired. Only on this ground can you rest 
in your faith, so that no quibbling, no bold- 
ness, no strong hand, can shake it; only on 
this can you rest your hopes, so that no mind 
shall shake them, no darkness obscure them. 



If your Bible be not God's inspired word, it 
is the mightiest imposition ever laid upon the 
world. But if it be, receive it, read it, believe 
it, and take all the comfort in its teachings, 
hopes, promises, and invitations which your 
young heart, ah*eady conscious of sin, so 
much needs. If you are young, full of life, 
health, and hope, it will teach you the true 
and the real value of these things, and show 
you how you may enjoy them most and use 
them so as to make the most of them ; if you 
come to the place where your hopes are 
clouded, and your prospects are cut off, it 
opens to you a hiding-place where the storm 
cannot come, and where you will feel that 
you have near you a heart to sympathize 
with every sorrow. It is a lamp to the feet 
till the day dawn and the day-star arise in 
your heart. Let no day pass without your 
learning something more than you knew out 
of this book of wisdom; without drawing 
fresh water out of this ever-gushing fountain ; 
without your obtaining light that is new, 
faith that is stronger, hopes that are fresher, 
and zeal that is purer. 


Kead the Scriptures for history, — the old- 
est and truest ever written ; for morality, — 
the purest ever presented for practice ; for 
information, — with which, once obtained, no 
one can ever be an ignorant man ; for con- 
firmation, — that Faith may stand on the 
Rock of Ages; for sanctification, — that you 
may become fitted for heaven ; for consola- 
tion, — when sorrow and disappointment over- 
take you ; and, lastly, for companionship, — 
because she who loves her Bible need never 
be lonely, never cheerless, never discouraged. 
The pure light of heaven surrounds her, and 
everlasting strength is embracing her. 



The ^olian Harp. Golden Links in the Chain of Life. 
Kough Diamond polished. Her True Position. They make 
us. New Stars. Man cannot do it. Her Perfect Love. 
Gray's Pilial Love. Home-loving Queen. Where Aristoc- 
racy begins. Light of the Household. To save rather 
than earn. Eeal Priendship. A Great Mistake. The 
Noble Woman. Another Woman's Heart. The Pleasant 
Surprise. Soft Star of Love. Honor to Old Age. Pecu- 
liar Protection. Eights of Women. Five Sisters. A Lit- 
tle " Laming." Mrs. Kennicott. Woman appreciated. 

Whatever be the end for which we train 
up character, it has been made plain, I trust, 
that it needs much faithful training. We 
sometimes hear of a character that breaks out 
upon the world without much discipline, that 
is great and symmetrical : so the ^olian harp 
may now and then throw out notes of sm-- 


passing tone, and that vibrate strongly upon 
the heart; but is that instrument, after all, 
to be compared to the well-tuned piano, on 
which both science and skill have exhausted 
their efforts ? 

It is sometimes said that our daughters are 
better educated than our sons, — especially, 
if the sons do not obtain a classical educa- 
tion; that almost universally, a girl of the 
same standing, and in the same family, is 
better educated than her brothers, and that 
when she marries, she is often thought to be 
stooping, and to be uniting herself to a man 
whose education is inferior to her own. Now, 
two things are to be considered ; first, that a 
part of her apparent education is mere tinsel, 
and will wear off shortly, while he has no tinsel. 
We all can think of ladies, who, in their school 
days, could draw, paint, play, or sing, and 
these gave them prominence then ; but amid 
the cares and anxieties and constant demands 
of life, they have had no time or taste to keep 
bright these golden links of the chain of life. 
Show us the married lady who does not prefer 
her beautiful children to any drawing of the 


human head, and the flowers of her nursery to 
any bouquet that can be painted in water- 
colors. And how seldom does a married lady 
of forty or of fifty excel on the piano? On 
the contrary, that young man who seemed so 
awkward, and so unrefined, begins his educa- 
tion now. He is at the head of a family, has 
to plan to support it, has to see all sorts of 
people, and his whole life is a continued edu- 
cation ; so that by the time that he is forty or 
fifty years old, you find him manly, intelligent, 
shrewd, and in the possession of real char- 
acter. You wonder how it is that he is so 
much more than he promised, on setting out 
in life, to become. His education, of neces- 
sity, continues, while the woman's in a great 
measure stops. At starting in life, we often 
wonder at her superiority. At forty-five, we 
wonder at his, — often, certainly. The reason 
is plain. He must improve by contact with 
the world. The rough diamond is rolled 
against others till it must receive a polish, 
whUe she is so absorbed in the cares of her 
family, that her education, as such, seems to 
stop. . 


If these views are correct, then the inference 
is unavoidable, that the daughter at starting 
in life ought to be better educated than her 
brother or husband. She ought to have more 
capital laid up, for she will be called upon to 
use it more constantly, without having so 
good an opportunity to increase it as he has. 
I cannot sympathize with the cry that is often 
raised, that our daughters are better educated 
than our sons. I doubt whether it be true, 
unless you call polish education, and then it 
is true. But the wear and tear of life is un- 
equal upon the two sexes, and we need have 
no great fear that she will get too much the 
start of her more slowly developed brother. 

And this leads me to the true position of 
woman. On this point it would be very easy 
to say some very smart things, to ridicule 
some very ancient notions, to admire some 
very modern theories, to laugh at pretension, 
and to scold outrageously at what is called 
old prejudices. 

I do not assert that woman, even in Chris- 
tian society, of which only I am speaking, has 
found her true position. I do not say that 


her voice has not hitherto been too much con- 
fined within doors, — that she may not do far 
more than she ever has done by teaching 
and authorship. I believe she will ; and I 
yield to no one in my estimate of her power 
in the world, or in the belief that, under the 
light of the Bible, her influence in the world is 
not less than that of the other sex. But from 
her very constitution and nature, from her 
peculiar sensibilities and tenderness, it seems 
to me that the great mission of woman is to 
take the world — the whole world — in its very 
infancy, when most pliable and most suscep- 
tible, and lay the foundations of human char- 
acter. Human character, in all its interests 
and relations and destinies, is committed to 
woman, and she can make it, shape it, mould 
it, and stamp it just as she pleases. There is 
no other period of life when character is 
formed so decidedly and so permanently as 
during childhood. I maintain that we are just 
what the ladies have made us to be. If they 
want us to be wiser, niore discreet, more ami- 
able, more lofty, or more humble, why do -they 
not make us so ? There is no earthly being 


whom the boy or the man reverences so much 
as his mother, and why does not she make 
him right ? And I care not to look the man 
in the face who is not afraid of his wife when 
he is doing wrong ! 

The professions of men are many ; we are 
lawyers, physicians, clergymen, mechanics, 
manufacturers, politicians : the profession of 
woman is that of being the educator of the 
human race, the former of human character. 
By the very arrangements of his providence, 
God has made it so, and to refuse to believe 
it, or to throw off this responsibility, is as 
unwise as it is wicked. 

K, now, any one should say that this is* 
a small profession, or a low duty, I reply, that 
it is more lofty and more responsible than if it 
were assigned you to lay the foundations of 
so many suns to shine in the heavens for a 
few ages ; it is taking what is immortal at its 
very setting out, and deciding what path it 
shall tread, what character it shall bear, and 
what destiny it shall obtain. You are decid- 
ing, during the first few years of its training, 
whether the new star shall travel and shine 


through the bright heavens, mingling its light 
with that of glorious constellations, or whether 
it shall be quenched shortly, and be lost in 
darkness and forgetfulness. 

God seems to say, " I cannot commit in- 
terests so precious, so vast, to man, who must 
be out on the rough ocean of life, struggling 
to support his children, where he must do 
battle with the elements, with the troubled 
sea, with avarice and dishonesty, and his time 
and thoughts must be so occupied that he 
cannot be in the place at all times, to form 
and mould and start the human family in 
thek eternal race of being." Man is too l^ur- 
ried, too much absorbed, too rough, too im- 
patient, too unsusceptible, and too tyrannical 
for this office ; and so Infinite Goodness and 
"Wisdom pillows the head of infancy on 
woman's breast, where it can hear the beating 
of a heart so full of patient tenderness, and of 
gentleness, purity, and love, that infancy and 
childhood instinctively go to her as the best 
friend, the wisest teacher, and the most faith- 
ful guardian. " It is the part of woman, like 
her own beautiful planet, to cheer the dawn 


and darkness, — to be both the morning and 
the evening star of life. The light of her eye 
is the first to rise and the last to set upon 
manhood's day of trial and suffering." I do 
not believe that in this wide world the angel 
in the sun can see a sight so beautiful as that 
of a family of children nestling round their 
mother, as she kindly bends her ears to their 
little sorrows and joys, fears and hopes. The 
storm without may rock their dwelling, the 
great forest may groan and crash, the mighty 
ocean may madden and foam, — they care 
not, fear not, for their mother is with them ! 
If sickness .comes upon them, they take any 
thing from her hand confidently, knowing that 
she will do all in perfect love. The father 
may be kind and indulgent, — they can fear 
and reverence him ; but to their mother they 
tell their temptations, their weaknesses. 

" My father blessed me fervently, 
Yet did not much complain ; 
But sorely will my mother sigh 
Till I come back again." 

The tears which fall over the grave of a fa- 
ther are sincere and agonizing, but they do 

gpiy's filial love. 211 

not scald like the burning drops shed over the 
ashes of a mother. Gray, the poet, who was 
a model of filial love, " seldom mentioned his 
pnother without a sigh. After his death her 
gowns and wearing-apparel were found in a 
trunk in -his apartments just as she had left 
them ; it seemed as if he could never take the 
resolution to open it, in order to distribute 
them to his female relations, to whom, by his 
will, he bequeathed them. To one of his cor- 
respondents, he says : — 

" ' Your letter informed me that your mother 
was recovered, otherwise I had then wrote to 
you only to beg you would take care of her, 
and to inform you that I had discovered a 
thing very little known, which is, that in one's 
whole life one can never have more than a 
single mother. You may think it obvious, 
and what you call a trite observation. You 
are a green gosling ! I was at the same age 
(very near) as wise as you, and yet I never 
discovered this (with full evidence and con- 
viction I mean) till it was too late. It is 
thirteen years ago, and seems but as yester- 
day, and every day I live it sinks deeper into 
my heart.' " 


Unhesitatingly I put it to the world at the 
present moment, when the British nation 
looms up so great, so rich, so strong, and 
so mighty, if she, the glorious queen so ad- 
mired and honored beyond any queen that 
ever sat on the throne, — if she, the home- 
loving Victoria, is not admired most of all, 
and beyond all, as a true and faithful mother? 
There is no jewel in her crown that shines 
so bright as that domestic love. She is on a 
high throne, and around her stand a galaxy 
of warriors and statesmen, and the drum- 
beat of her armies hails the sun the world 
round ; but, above it all, she rises up the ad- 
miration of her generation, because she oc- 
cupies a position for woman higher than that 
of a queen, — that of an .untiring, loving 
mother! To watch over the education and 
the training of the immortal minds that God 
has committed to her in the dearest relation- 
ship, is the highest responsibility and honor 
of woman. You see, therefore, why I desire 
the education of woman in the highest, largest 

I would have her so educated that she can 


comprehend the Divine Wisdom in the ar- 
rangements of this world and in the distribu- 
tion of our lots ; so educated that she can 
see afar and judge what effects will follow 
such and such causes, — that she can rightly 
judge as to what and when and how she 
shall teach, and discipline and guide the hu- 
man family, as they are committed to her. No 
narrow views are wanted here, no darkened 
understanding. The world has been, and is, 
and will be, just what woman makes it. So- 
ciety is what she makes it. We men have 
nothing to do with aristocracy or the distinc- 
tions in society. We talk and walk and 
shake hands with men of all classes and con- 
ditions. It is the drawing-room that decides 
all the distinctions of society ; there the circle 
is drawn, and there, if an)rwhere, aristocracy 
begins. Every woman determines for herself 
with whom she will or will not associate, 
and what shall or shall not be respectable. 
Woman decides what we shall eat and 
drink, what our furniture and associates shall 
be, what our homes and society shall be, 
what our children shall become in this world 


and the next. If she has deep sorrows, she 
has fresh joys. If she must go down ahnost 
to the grave during the pilgrimage, she brings 
up priceless jewels in which her' heart may 
rejoice to ail eternity ! Do not then feel that 
woman does not need an education of the 
highest kind and degree possible, — that any 
care or expense in her training is lost. Can- 
not all bear witness to the truth of this beau- 
tiful testimony ? — "I believe no one, who has 
not tried, can estimate the amount of influ- 
ence which one loving, unselfish spirit can 
exercise in a household. If a cold and gloomy 
temper can shed its baneful influence round, 
making all who come within its shadow cold 
and gloomy, so much more, blessed be God, 
shall the spirit of Christian love diffuse and 
spread itself over the hearts around, till it has 
moulded them, in some degree, to its own 
image, and taught them to seek for them- 
selves that renewing spirit whose fruit is seen 
to be love and joy and peace." Woman 
is to hold the wires that are to make the 
world advance or move backwards. She is 
to stand at the head-waters and send out the 


streams that are to make glad tke cities of 
our God. 

Should fashion or folly, or a desire to make 
experiments, e\er thrust woman out of the 
beautiful sphere in which God hath placed 
her, the other sex will not suffer so much as 
she herself will. It does not seem to me to 
be the design of God, as the general lot of 
woman, that she should wrestle with the out- 
of-door occupations, grapple with business, or 
that her province is so much to earn as to 
saA^e. No father or husband can be prospered 
or respected or happy, unless her department 
of home is well cared for. It is a far gi-eater 
blessing to have her save five hundi-ed dollars 
in rightly managing the domestic concerns, 
than to earn twice that sum by neglecting 
them. And as to the comfort, and the joys 
of the human heart, nothing but her mild, 
constant, and sweet influence in the family 
circle can ever bestow them. 

" Woman is the heart, of the family, 
If man 's the head," 

and the head is of no value without the heart 
to influence it. Every man feels that, when 


he selects a wife, he wants a pure, warm, and 
noble heart. No other gifts will compensate 
for the want of this. " A coquette is a rose 
from which every lover picks a leaf ; the 
thorns are reserved for her future husband." 

Some females seem to feel that in their 
sphere they cannot be and shall not be suffi- 
ciently honored. But to whom do we go with 
thev deepest sorrows of the heart, and where 
do we find the truest, purest, and most unself- 
ish friendship ? When upon the dreary path of 
the life of the distressed, there breaks in the 
sparkle of stars, from whom do they come ? 
"I remember, some years ago," says Mr. Jay, 
" to have buried a corpse. In the extremity 
of the audience that surrounded me, I dis- 
covered a female wrinkled with age, and 
bending with weakness. One hand held a 
motherless grandchild, the other wiped her 
tears with the corner of her woollen apron. 
I pressed towards her when the service was 
closed, and said, ' Have you lost a friend ? ' 
She heaved a melancholy sigh. ' The Lord 
bless her memory ! ' I soon found that the 
deceased had allowed her for several years 



sixpence per week. O, is it possible the ap- 
propriation of a sum so inconsiderable may 
cause a widow's heart to sing for joy, and 
save the child of the needy ! " 

It is a great mistake to suppose that it is 
the great speech in the Senate, or the influ- 
ence of high offices, or the glare of a great 
public character, that makes this world happy. 
All that wealth ever cast into the treasmy of 
the Lord will never have so much influence 
upon the moral welfare of our race, as will 
the two mites cast in by the poor widow. 
You admire a great character and the daring 
achievement ; but it is such deeds as the fol- 
lowing that sink down into the human heart 
and make us better. It is like a light burst- 
ing out when we are surrounded with dark- 
ness, and know not where to turn. 

Some time in the year 1839, there arrived in 
the city of Schenectady an interesting young 
girl, about eighteen years of age. She was 
an utter stranger, but soon obtained employ- 
ment for a few weeks as an assistant nurse. 
After this temporary employment ceased, she 
fortunately presented herself to a merchant- 


tailor of character, who kindly gave her em- 
ployment and instruction, and after a short 
time she was received into his family. Soon 
she became expert with her needle, which not 
only gave her support, but enabled her to 
dress genteelly, having such a fund of good 
sense as to avoid all extra finery, yet always 
appearing neat and in good taste. 

In 1842, she accidentally secured a home 
with a married lady with two children, a son 
and a daughter aged eight and ten years,- 
whose husband and father had deserted and 
left them to such provision as none but a wife's 
and mother's resources could procure. Whilst 
in this deserted family, the heart-broken wife * 
sickened and died. The mother, when dying, 
gave a heart-rending farewell to her two chil- 
dren. And this noble stranger-gM, weeping 
by the death-bed, assured the dying mother 
that she would be a mother to her children. 
This assurance calmed the last death-agony of 
a fond mother who died. The young stranger- 
girl took the two children, hii*ed a room, dili- 
gently plied her needle, paid the rent, contin- 
ued her neat and modest appearance, fed and 

ANOTHER woman's HEART. 219 

dressed the boy and girl handsomely and ap- 
propriately, sent them to a well-selected school 
taught by a lady, who, much to her praise, 
declined remuneration. Another woman's 
heart ! 

Now, reader, you ask. Who is this young 
female ? The writer will not tell you, but, to 
gratify the feeling excited by this narrative, 
I will tell you a little of her history. Her 
parents, in good circumstances, reside in the 
Upper Province of Canada. She was wooed 
by a worthy young man, whose affections 
were fully reciprocated, as ardently and as 
purely as woman loves. But the father, an 
Englishman, opposed the connection w^th all 
the determination of an Englishman. She 
was sent into " the States," to a farmer uncle, 
to avoid further intercourse between the lov- 
ers. At this uncle's, contrary to her habits, 
she was duly appointed milkmaid. At this 
the young girl revolted, and left, determined 
to depend upon her own resources. She ar- 
rived at Schenectady, where she has lived till 
now, — living above charity, solely upon her 
own energetic labor, with the additional 


charge of two interesting orphans. This 
spring she wrote to her mother, apprising her 
of her intention of visiting her home, — the 
home of her childhood and childhood's mirth, 
and the home, too, of her maiden trials and 
sorrows. To her astonishment, surprise, and 
gratification, the first response to that letter 
was the presence of her father, who upon the 
receipt of it left for Schenectady, that he 
might the more safely conduct his long absent 
daughter to her early home and her fond 
mother. But mark ! with a predetermined 
purpose and high-souled magnanimity, she 
says, " Father, I will go ; but these " (pre- 
senting the orphans) " are my children ; they 
go where I go." The father, not to be out- 
done, replied, " Yes, C, come home, my 
daughter, and take with you your adopted 
children ; there is a welcome and a double 
welcome, and room for you and yours." 

They left for Canada, flooded with tears, — 
tears for parting from the stranger's friends ; 
tears for a happy uniting of parent and child ; 
tears for a parent's free, frank permission to 
come to a better home, offered to a wander- 


ing daughter, with two adopted children ! O, 
what a lesson ! 

God has made woman's heart ; and the 
thing which that heart longs for, beyond all 
things, is not greatness, nor splendor, but to 
be beloved. And God has given to her those 
fine sensibilities, that quick perception of 
what is lovely, and ten thousi.nd opportuni- 
ties to cause the lips around her to bless her. 
Opportunities which the other sex would 
overlook are every day opened to her, by 
which to make a good deed shine like the soft 
star of love. " Two years ago," says a lady, 
in the Ohio State Journal, " I made a jour- 
ney to New England, accompanied by my 
husband; also my father-in-law, an old man 
of fourscore years. I have often seen that 
good old man offer his seat to some hale wo- 
man of half or less than half his age, and seen 
her accept it as if it were a right, without 
even a passing notice of his gi*ay hairs, or the 
right of years, that entitled him to her kind- 
ness and attention. Once, and only once, a 
lady of queenly grace and beauty sprang 
from her seat as we entered, and, with a voice 


that was musical in every tone, said, ' Father, 
take this arm-chair ! ' How my heart sprung 
to her goodness ! Such has been our idea of 
a lady, — which is synonymous with a true 

It is also to be borne in mind, that woman 
can do what men cannot, can go where they 
cannot, surroiinded by that protection which 
is always thrown around the sex, and which 
shields them from opposition. When Han- 
nah More was riding twenty miles to estab- 
lish schools for poor children, among a popu- 
lation so degraded that in one village they 
found but one Bible, and that was used to 
prop up a flower-pot, p.nd in a school of one 
hundred and eight there were not any boys or 
girls, of any size, whom she asked, who could 
tell her who made them. John Newton \\Tites 
thus : " If a prudent minister should attempt 
such an extensive inroad into the kingdom 
of darkness, he might expect such opposi- 
tion as few could withstand. But your sex 
and your character afford you a peculiar pro- 
tection. They who would try to trample one 
of us into the dust, would be ashamed openly 


to oppose you. I say openly ; I believe you 
do not expect they will thank you, much less 

assist you Fear not, my dear ladies, 

all the praying souls upon earth, all the saints 
in glory, all the angels of the Lord, and the 
Lord of angels himself, are with you." 

When we hear so much said about the rights 
of women, as if the stern sex were combined 
against them to keep them depressed and 
shut away from all that is ennobling, it seems 
strange that such a mind as I have referred to 
above did not make the discovery, and with 
her powerful pen break down thosp mighty 
barriers which men have thrown around the 
feebler sex. I cannot allow myself to pass by 
a short quotation from her own words : — "I 
have been much pestered to read ' The Rights 
of Women,' but am invincibly resolved not 
to do it. Of all jargon, I hate metaphysical 
jargon; besides, there is something fantastic 
and absurd in the very title. How many 
ways there are of being ridiculous! I am 
sure I have as much liberty as I can make a 
good use of, now I am an old maid ; and 
when I was a young one, 1 had, I dare say. 


more than was good for me. If I were still 
young, perhaps I should not make this con- 
fession ; but so many women are fond of gov- 
ernment, I suppose, because they are not fit 
for it." 

And while I am so near Hannah More, I 
cannot but advert to the beautiful fact, that 
women have more rights, and their sphere is 
larger, than is commonly supposed. How 
those five sisters lived together in unity and 
love, using their individual and combined tal- 
ents to support themselves and to do good, 
each and all in their spheres, like five sister 
stars, sending out their individual and com- 
bined light, till one after the other they sank 
beneath the horizon, each and all still leav- 
ing a soft, but strong, light behind them! 
Hear Patty's account of her childlilie inter- 
view with the great Dr. Johnson : — " With 
all the same ease, familiarity, and confidence 
we should have done had only our dear Dr. 
Stonehouse been present, we entered upon 
the history of our birth, parentage, and educa- 
tion ; showing how we were born with more 
desires than guineas, and how, as years in- 


creased our appetites, the cupboard at home 
became too small to gratify them ; and how, 
with a bottle of water, a bed, and a blanket, 
we set out to seek our fortunes ; and how we 
found a great house,' with nothing in it, and 
how it was like to remain so, till, looking into 
our knowledge-boxes, we happened to find a 
little laming^ a good thing when land is gone, 
or rather has never come ; so at last, by giving 
a little of this laming to those who had less, 
we got a good store of gold in return ; but how, 
alas I we wanted the wit to keep it. * I love 
you both!' cried the inamorato, ' I love you all 
five I I never was in Bristol : I will come on 
purpose. What ! five women live happily to- 
gether ! I will come and see you. I have 
spent a happy evening. I am glad I came. 
God for ever bless you I You live lives to 
shame duchesses ! ' He took his leave with so 
much warmth and tenderness, we were quite 
affected at his manner." 

You will recollect the name of Mrs. Kenni- 

cott, already mentioned. She will ever be an 

example to those who are ready " to make all 

duty sweet." She devoted her life to assist- 



ing her husband in collating the Hebrew 
Scriptures. It was said of her, that she " prob- 
ably lengthened her husband's life by her at- 
tentions, and certainly gladdened it by her 
prudence, her understanding, and her gentle- 
ness. And it is her peculiar praise, that she 
took the pains to acquh*e Hebrew for the sole 
purpose of qualifying herself for correcting the 
printing of her husband's great work. From 
this knowledge she could derive neither pleas- 
ure nor fame. Her only desire in this labor 
was to be useful to her husband. And is not 
her " record on high " as really as the labors 
of Dr. Kennicott, so well appreciated by the 
learned ? " The meek and quiet spirit," who 
with a feeble hand lightens the burden of a 
weary father, a toil-worn mother, or encour- 
ages a sister, shall not fail of her reward. 

If, now, there are those who Jiold woman 
in low estimation, they are exceptions to the 
great body of the intelligent and the best men 
of our age. There have been times in the 
history of the world, when woman was more 
toasted, in the manner of chivalry, when 
knights and warriors were eager to break each 


other's heads and cut one another's throats to 
show their admiration, yet I doubt whether 
there was ever a time when she was held in 
truer estimation, or more appropriately re- 
garded, than at the present time. You may 
be assured that all the rights w^hich she can 
ever need or exercise for her own gpod will be 
hers, if they are not already hers. There will 
be no need of fear lest you are denied all that 
is needed to make your sex the ornament of 
our homes, the ministers of mercy for our 
race, and the benefactors and educators, 
cheerfully acknowledged as such by all whose 
regard you would esteem of any value. The 
great Redeemer placed the sex in their true 
position when he treated woman as his best 
friend, and held up her example for the imita- 
tion of all future time. 



Pleasant Anticipations. " The Last." Joy awaiting you. 
Responsibility before you. Minute by Minute. Poor 
Housekeeping. Knowledge useless. No Regular Time for 
Study. A Part of your Discipline. " Twitting upon Facts." 
Help your Mother. Household Duties. Apologize for 
Nothing. Sit still but an Hour. Afternoon Occupations. 
Pranklin's Courtesy. Porm a Library. Busy and quiet. 
Mazes of Practions. Never-failing Cheerfulness. Service 
to your Pather. Home Pield first. Woman's Way opened. 
Joy in the Evening. Chariot- Wheels dragging. Melody 
of Heaven. A Rod or a Crown. Uses of Sorrow. Ready 
to work. Life's Harvest. 

However happy our daughters may be at 
school, we desire them, to feel that the hap- 
piest place is at home ; and if ever we are 
disposed to envy a young lady, it is when, 
having faithfully improved her school days, 
she anticipates her return to her family. She 

"the last." 229 

feels that she will then be, not free fi:om du- 
ties, but at liberty to do them in her own 
time and way. One of the trials of school 
life must unavoidably be its monotony, and 
from this she will soon be relieved. Soon 
she will' be beyond the call of the imperious 
bell. To be sure, there is the sadness we al- 
ways feel when we come to the last of any 
stage of life. Wherever you turn, you see 
written the solemn words, "the last." The 
last recitation will bring some regrets, the 
last meal in the accustomed seat will be very 
still, the last time you kneel at the school 
altar you will rise in tears, and no sorrow you 
meet in life will be more real than the last 
parting with teachers, schoolmates, and even 
the study hall. You rejoice in the thought 
that you will come back for a visit, and you 
do not wonder that the student clings so 
strongly to Alma Mater. Yet were it not for 
these tear-drops, so bright a rainbow could 
not hang over you. If you have not wasted 
the hours that Memory now makes so pleas- 
ant, if you go home with all the discipline of 
mind your parents have desired, if you be- 


lieve that the reasonable expectations of your 
friends are not to be disappointed, you may 
leave with a light heart ; for your past is cheer- 
ful, and your future will never be more hope- 
ful. I cannot describe, but can you not look 
into your home, and see the joy that is await- 
ing your arrival ? Has not your father deferred 
many little schemes of pleasure for the fam- 
ily that you may enjoy them ? Has not your 
mother, almost as impatient as you, counted 
the days before she may expect you to be her 
daily comfort? Her child is now to be a 
trusted friend and helper. Your brother has 
planned for you a famous fishing-excursion, 
and your sisters have arranged your cham- 
ber, and all that thoughtful love can devise 
to make that room pleasant will be done. 
Even, in your honor, the little one of the flock 
is saving his playthings to show to you. The 
flowers now blossoming in the garden will 
beautify the parlor, and ere they wither you 
will be there. No wonder you are glad. No 
wonder you long for the time to come. 

You probably go, determined to prove your 
gratitude to your parents for all the expense 


and anxiety they have bestowed upon yon, 
yet, unless you are very watchful, you will 
unintentionally waste the next few years, — 
years whose influence will be felt by you to 
all eternity. Of all the responsibilities which 
lie before you in life, you have scarcely 
thought, and soon, whether ready or not, you 
must meet them. 

If now — for I have opportunity for but a 
very few hints — I can help you to realize 
the importance of improving your time wise- 
ly, and enjoying the opportunities which will 
slip by you so quickly, — if I can suggest 
any duties you may be likely to forget or 
neglect, — I shall rejoice more than you. 
Jeremy Taylor's beautiful illustration of the 
value of time may not be out of the way 
here, for never can it be more valuable to you 
than now : — "It is very remarkable that God, 
who giveth plenteously to aU creatures, that 
scattereth the firmament with stars, as a man 
sows corn in his fields, in a multitude bigger 
than the capacities of human order ; he hath 
made so much variety of creatures, and gives 
us gi'eat choice of meats and drinks, although 


any one of both kinds would have served our 
needs ; and so in all instances of nature, — yet 
in the distribution of our time, God seems 
to be straight-handed, and gives it to us, not 
as nature gives us rivers enough to drown us, 
but drop by drop, minute after minute ; so 
that we can never have two minutes together, 
but he takes away one when he gives us an- 
other. This should teach us to value our time, 
since God so values it, and by his so small dis- 
tribution of it tells us it is the most precious 
thing we have." The reason why your time 
is now especially a great treasure is, that now 
is the time for you to learn many things es- 
sential to your welfare in life. This is the 
time for your professional studies. 

In the last chapter I endeavored to define 
woman's true position, and can you conscien- 
tiously say that you are fitted for it? Are 
there not many home duties of which you 
hardly know the existence, and which you 
must of necessity neglect while away from 
home ? Housewifery, that ancient but most 
honorable occupation, which Mother Eve first 
taught her daughters, is, I presume, almost an 



unknown science to you. You may not be 
to blame if you cannot now make biscuit 
like your mother ; but if at the end of six 
months you still boast of your ignorance, 
you may be sure you will fall in the estima- 
tion of sensible people. Your indigestible 
bread, muddy coffee, and bm-nt chickens, may 
make many a joke now, but it is wit of 
which you will soon weary. By your careful 
industry and consequent success, make your 
failm-es matters of tradition in the family. 

In consequence of your long absence, you 
have never been able to acquire domestic 
habits, — habits which are to increase your 
happiness through life. This you now desire 
to do. It will seem a new and difficult branch 
of your education, and many trials wiU arise, 
none the less real, because small. These un- 
locked for annoyances may fret you, as the 
hunter is more troubled by the mosquitoes 
and gnats than by all his other hardships. 
Perhaps if you tliink of some of these now, 
you will be more resolute and cheerful in 
meeting them. 

(1.) You will soon feel that all the knowl- 


edge acquired during these years of hard study 
is useless. Chemistry does not teach you the 
secret of good bread-making ; geometry will 
not fit a dress ; nor can you, by the aid of 
mental philosophy, attain the art of making 
people do as you think best. All this may 
be true, yet if you have gained the full, ad- 
vantage of these studies, you have acquired 
self-control and the power of fastening the 
mind to any subject. 

(2.) You will feel that all your hard-earned 
treasure is slipping away from you. The 
algebra, now so familiar, will soon seem to 
glide from your memory, and the binomial 
theorem will be even harder to retain than to 
acquire. You can, however, by a little care, 
at any time recall this knowledge, and though 
you thought it forgotten, it will be wonder- 
fully familiar, as the old painters had the 
power of bringing back to ancient pictures 
the freshness of beauty. 

(3.) You will be disappointed in your plans 
for regular study and self-improvement. You 
have become accustomed and attached to the 
systematic division of time, and if you desire 


to continue your education, you will doubtless 
endeavor to have a regular system for intel- 
lectual labor. But you will soon be discour- 
aged by frequent interruptions. Your mother 
will have the first claim upon you, and indeed 
every member in the family will expect to call 
upon you for little favors constantly. You 
will find that you cannot command the same 
hour, or indeed any hour, for close study. And 
if your household duties are removed by the 
power of wealth, still your friends and family 
will claim most of your time. Very few can^ 
and still fewer ivill^ adhere to any system 
of study at home. 

If you wish to improve in any particular 
branch, music or any of the languages, you 
had better, if possible, take lessons regularly 
from a teacher ; for the necessity of being 
prepared to meet your instructor will alw^ays 
be a satisfactory reason for devoting a part 
of your time to study. Many of our most 
accomplished ladies have improved in this 
way exceedingly after leaving school. If you 
study alone, you must consider it as a part 
of your discipline to snatch a little time here 


and there, and perhaps in this, more than in 
any other way, you may learn the secret of 
making every moment do the most for you. 
But remember that your education may be 
going on, though the dust may be daily gath- 
ering on your favorite authors. Be careful 
that nothing interferes with your regular read- 
ing. Secure an hour every day ; and this you 
can have before breakfast, if you will only 
be resolute in fighting your most easily over- 
coming enemy, ^- Indolence. 

(4.) You will find daily, unexpected vexa- 
tions. Perhaps nowhere is the temper tried 
so severely as in one's own family. At 
school and in travelling, the presence of others 
is always a considerable restraint, and very 
few strangers will deal in the honest and often 
unpleasant truths which " candid " friends 
deal out so unsparingly. Away from home, 
your faults are not so well known, your weak- 
nesses are not commented upon in your pres- 
ence ; your motives are not weighed and 
found wanting, when you have not yet yourself 
analyzed them. The common habit of " twit- 
ting upon facts," as far as I know, never re- 


suits in good, and often creates lasting family 
unhappiness. You had gained a standing at 
school, and commanded a degree of respect; 
it will be a little hard to be treated as a child 
by children. 

But 1 cannot think you will spend much 
time in considering your possible trials com- 
pared with your certain duties. These can- 
not be definitely enumerated, for they will 
vary with the circumstances of each individ- 
ual. A few wall fall to almost all. Does not 
your own heart suggest to you the first, near- 
est duty in the family circle, — your obliga- 
tion to be a comfort to your mother, — to try 
to repay her, in some measure, for her un- 
ceasing watchfulness and love ? Has she not 
changed somewhat since your first remem- 
brance of her ? Has not her face deeper 
wrinkles, more gray hairs ; is her form as 
erect as ever? If Time has done this, he 
show^s that her burdens should grow easier; 
she has borne them long. If anxiety has 
worn upon her, though the cause may be 
removed, the scar of the arrow will still re- 
main. Do all you can to help her. The 


time may soon come when you shall have 
done all you ever may for her ; then, when 
love and duty are alike powerless, you will 
not regret one labor of love, one deed or 
word of sympathy, one act of devotion to 
her. Take this upon the word of one who, 
in looking back upon his life, finds one of 
his brightest memories the love and care he 
was permitted to bestow upon his mother, 
though, alas! she was unconscious of this 
love. I am sure you will try to relieve your 
mother's cares as far as possible. If you be- 
long to the class who are not ashamed to 
recognize the Divine law which commands us 
to labor with our own hands, — if you feel that, 
while our Master says, " My Father worketh 
hitherto and I work," it is presumptuous not 
to labor with your own hands, as well as 
your minds and souls, — you will not wonder 
that I allude briefly to your minor household 
duties. Every morning consider the duties 
of the day, and let one be to assist your 
mother in all that she does towards breakfast. 
How much you shall do, your circumstances 
will determine ; but whatever your mother is 


accustomed to do as her share, will not be too 
much for you. At any rate, to see that every 
thing is in order, that nothing is forgotten, is 
a charge that you cannot hire ; and if, after 
the morning meal, you wash the china and 
silver, you will gain much credit if you do it 

Let me caution you not to be ashamed of 
any manual labor you may think best to per- 
form. To wash glasses is as ladylike as to 
listen at an evening concert to their musical 
ringing. It is as honorable to prepare a din- 
ner as to preside at one ; and the power of 
making pies is sui'ely as desirable as that of 
eating them. Every morning you will find 
much to be done in your own chamber. Here 
you -cannot be too particular. Your rule 
should be, that it shall be in such order, that 
at any time your intimate friends may enter 
it, and you will need to apologize for nothing. 
And let it be your pride that you do it all 

All the aid you can give throughout the 
morning, (and now I am speaking of the New 
England fashion of dining in the middle of 


the day,) you will not withhold. You will 
be quick to anticipate any regular " chores," 
as our grandmothers used to call them, which 
will be each a sensible relief to your mother. 
You will be ready to help in the sewing ; and 
you will not shrink from the planning, the 
" cutting-out," the altering, which every house- 
wife says is the most tedious part of needle- 
work. Watch carefully to detect any latent 
taste or talent you may have for dress-making 
and millinery. You will find it more availa- 
ble than the most delicate flower-painting or 

Do not spend all your strength on any one 
labor. Change frequently, and especially, in 
sewing, be sure never to sit more than an 
hour. Jump up then for a few moments, ar- 
range flowers for the vases, practise a song, 
dust a parlor, — any thing to change your 
position, to relax your muscles and straighten 
your spine. This is very important. For 
when you are tired with one duty, you will 
find that you are quite fresh for another. Here 
let me advise you, in health you should never 
indulge in a day-time nap. If you find by 


persisting in early rising you are not rested, 
that your strength is gone before the day 
goes, retire earlier and earlier, till you find 
you have sufficient sleep. At any rate, do 
not rob the night to do your daylight duties. 
The duty after ten o'clock in the evening is 
to sleep, and very seldom ought any thing to 
infringe upon this. You will find that, if you 
faithfully perform the morning employments, 
your afternoons will be free. In the country, 
and everywhere except in our largest cities, 
this is the time for visiting and shopping. 
Your first duty after dinner will be to dress, 
either to see your friends or to go out; and 
then you will be ready to " follow your ain 
gate." Should any emergency arise in the 
family cares, and should you be obliged to 
receive company after dinner in your morning 
dress, which, if you are a true lady, will be 
whole and neat, however cheap and plain, 
you will not detain your friends till you can 
hastily and carelessly " don your best array " ; 
neither will you weary them with explana- 
tions. They come to see you, not your silk 
dress and silk apron. On this point I think 

242 ^^... ......' 


King Charles's rule is excellent, " Never to 
make an apology or excuse till one is ac- 

" Maldng calls " I regard one of the duties 
a young lady owes to society. Let them be 
frequent, short, and friendly. Especially be 
ready to call promptly upon strangers. You 
have realized how pleasant it is when away 
from home to receive courtesies; be not for- 
getful to be as kind. In a letter to Rev. George 
Whitefield, Franklin says : " For my own 
part, when I am employed in serving others, 
I do not look upon myself as conferring fa- 
vors, but as paying debts. In my travels, 
and since my settlement, I have received 
much kindness from men to whom I shall 
* never have any opportunity of making the 
least direct retm-n, and numberless mercies 
from God, who is infinitely above being bene- 
fited by our services. Those kindnesses from 
men I can therefore only return on their fel- 
low-men, and I can only show my gratitude 
for these mercies from God by a readiness 
to help his other children and my brethren." 

In doing this kindness you wiU never fail 


of your reward. If my observation is correct, 
by devoting two afternoons in the week to 
this branch of courtesy, yon need never neg- 
lect your friends. Your evenings w^ill be 
your time of greatest quiet and enjoyment. 
It is a pleasant time to receive your friends, 
to cheer the family by music, to amuse and 
improve by reading aloud. To read distinctly 
to yom' friends and easily to yourself, requii-es 
^•eat practice ; but it is an accomplishment 
for which your friends will be grateful. You 
wiU soon find that you peculiarly enjoy a 
book that is your own. You will read it 
more carefully and remember it better. This 
will lead you to form a library which shall 
be yours, and by devoting a fixed, though it 
may be a small sum, for tliis pm'pose every 
week, you will be surprised at your literary 

Every morning you should plan for the day. 
You will think of something almost every 
day which you will desire to do aside from 
the common course. Whether it be in the 
way of duty or pleasure, endeavor to accom- 
plish it without interfering with your ordi- 



nary duties. Decide in what order you will 
take your employments, and then carry out 
your plans as far as possible. " But however 
great your method may be, do not make an 
idol of it, and compel every body to bow to 
it." That is, do not persist in doing things 
in your own time and way, though the time 
and way be good, if you incommode or 
trouble others. Arrange your plans so that, 
however faithfully you may improve your 
talents, you may be like the noble lady upon 
whose monument was the epitaph, " Always 
busy and always quiet." Do not be so hur- 
ried, that your body and mind are always 
wearied, your temper irritable, and your spirit 
vexed. If you do not enjoy yourself now, 
you probably never will. 

Do not think I am planning too much for 
you, because I remind you that, if you are 
one of the oldest of a large family, your 
duties and your pleasures with the younger 
children will be many. You can assume the 
entire charge of the wardrobe of one child. 
This plan I have known tried to very great 
advantage. If you will engage to keep one 


sister's or brother's clothing in as good order 
as your own, you will take one responsibility 
from your mother. And teach your protege 
to come to you, when an essential button is 
wanting in a hurry, when gloves are to be re- 
paired at a moment's notice, when the shoe- 
string is broken. If it is not necessary or best 
that you have the charge of instructing your 
brothers and sisters, you will be ready to help 
them all you can in the way of explanation 
and encouragement. Have patience with your 
sister who is in the mazes of decimal fractions ; 
it is not long since you were in the same dif- 
ficulties. Help your brother out of the mys- 
teries of the famous forty-seventh of Euclid : 
have you forgotten how lately you were 
floundering in the same depths ? Though 
you do not remember it, you shed many tears 
over the third page of Colburn, the very one 
over which your little sister is so disconsolate, 
trying to subtract seven from fifteen. K, in 
your first attempts to mount the height of 
science, you ever found encouragement from 
others, return it now ; if you did not, remem- 
ber how you desired it. You will be watched 


carefully. Will you not also so watch that 
your example shall be a blessing to the fam- 
ily ? Your temper will be tried, let it not be 
wanting ; your industry will be taxed, do not 
be discouraged ; your cheerfulness will be de- 
manded, pray that it may not fail. In all the 
contingencies which must arise in a large 
family, be ready to meet them. When acci- 
dents happen, have patience with the careless 
one. Do not punish or reprove according to 
consequences, but motives. How should we 
fare should God visit us for the results of our 
errors ? When duties press, and new ones 
rise while old ones were crowding hard, be 
cool. When strangers come in the midst of 
some jar in the domestic machinery, do not 
let them feel that their coming is inopportune. 
Be hospitable, not merely when you have a 
fatted calf and the house is in order, but when 
the dinner of herbs is all you can offer. Be 
cheerful when every thing is discouraging, be 
patient when every body else is fretful, be 
hopeful when the night is the darkest. Re- 
member that " the chief secret of comfort lies 
in not suffering trifles t*o vex one, and in pru- 


dently cultivating an undergrowth of small 
pleasures, since very few, alas! are let on 
long leases." 

Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu, whose name will 
long be honored, says : " I endeavor to drink 
deep of philosophy, and be wise when I can- 
not be merry, easy when I cannot be glad, 
content with what cannot be mended, and 
patient when there is no redress." You will 
soon find the sphere of your duties enlarging 
around you. You may be of great service to 
your father. Show him that your years spent 
upon mathematics have not been wasted ; that 
they enable you to add columns of figures 
accurately ; that you can balance his books. 
Can you not save him many hours of tedious 
labor by copying . legibly and neatly? You 
will never repay him in money for the expense 
he has lavished upon you, nor does he desire 
it ; but at least let him see how well you have 
improved these advantages, how anxious you 
are to prove your, grateful love to him. Yes, 
the circle of your duties will enlarge. You 
will soon see duties out of your own family. 
The sick are to be comforted by visits of sym- 


pathy, children are to be led into the Sabbath- 
school, the sewing-circle needs your aid. Do 
as much as you can, but do not let these 
duties lead you to forget those which belong 
particularly to home. To collect contribu- 
tions for the cause of missions, is a work 
which will be accepted of the great Master, 
but not if, in doing this, you leave a sick sister 
who pines for your comforting presence, nor 
if you add to the labors of an almost broken- 
down mother. The " nearest duty " must first 
be done. If you are conscientious in this 
matter, you can easily decide how many du- 
ties you can undertake. But promise to do 
nothing that you cannot perform promptly 
and regularly. However anxious you may 
be to do good as a tract distributor, you will 
fail if your zeal flags as you see the difficul- 
ties of your work, and you go irregularly 
through the monthly routine you began with 
so much enthusiasm. 

Work with all your heart and soul, but do 
not be anxious for the future. Do each day's 
duty, and leave to-morrow's chances with God. 
Providence can and will assign to you the 

woman's way opened. 249 

best lot. There is truth as well as wit in the 
quaint saying, " Man cares for himself, woman 
is helped to her destiny." And to many this 
seems hard, but it takes a vast responsibility 
from you, it makes your path easier. You 
will never know the struggles of the young 
man who desires to have an education, though 
it makes his daily bread scanty, — when he 
chooses between a business which will soon 
make him independent, perhaps wealthy and 
influential, and a profession which is almost 
starvation at first, and which must ever seek 
a higher reward than any earth can give, — 
when he looks out into life and every niche 
seems filled, every post occupied, and he must 
push and struggle in the crowd or be crushed 
and trampled under foot. But Providence 
kindly opens woman's way before her. When 
one sphere is fully occupied by her, he gives 
her a larger one, and if she will but follow 
the leadings of his hand, she shall be led by 
gi'een pastures and still waters. Do not fret, 
or even dream, concerning the future ! If He 
would give you the power, would you dare to 
decide your earthly destiny ? None but weak 


young ladies will speculate much concerning 
their settlement in life, or regard it as a mat- 
ter at all under their own control. To those 
who live only for admiration, who spend their 
time in " making nets instead of cages," whose 
object in life is to be married and live "in 
style," I have nothing to say. They must 
have parted company with me and my book 
long ago! 

The longer you live, the truer you will find 
the observation of Thomas a Kempis, " The 
more thou knowest and the better thou un- 
derstandest, the more grievously shalt thou 
be judged, unless thy life be more holy." Re- 
member also his caution, "Be not therefore 
lifted up, but rather let the knowledge given 
thee make thee afraid." His comfort is, 
" Thou shalt always have joy in the evening, 
if thou hast spent the day well." 

Soon my chapter must close, and so far I 
have spoken of your responsibility in your 
family. How can I measure your duty to 
yourself and your God ? If you owe a life- 
long gratitude to your parents, what should 
you not render to your heavenly Friend ? 



[f the remark of John Foster, that " Power 
to its last particle is duty, " is fearful, it is be- 
cause it is true. Every thought, feeKng, ac- 
tion, should be to His glory. Alas ! how are 
we failing ! Without ffis forgiveness we shall 
fail still more in duty, and at last fail of our 
heavenly inheritance ! What joy will it be 
that your soul is refined, enlarged, and enno- 
bled by all that earthly skill and love can do, 
if in eternity you find not your Saviour your 
friend. Worse than lost will be all your labor 
without his love and acceptance. And day 
by day you will need new strength. K you 
depend not on a strength infinitely beyond your 
own, you will soon despair. If you daily, 
hourly, seek not God's blessing, you will soon 
realize the truth of Philip Henry's experience 
at the close of a day of hard study : " I for- 
got, when I began, explicitly and expressly to 
crave help from God, and the chariot-wheels 
drove accordingly P You can obtain the poAV- 
er for endurance of every day's burden. Need 
I remind you that " Prayer is a key which un- 
locks the blessings of the day, and locks up 
the dangers of the night " ? I trust you have 


and appreciate the blessing of a family altar. 
In the beautiful words of the celebrated Dr. 
Hunter : " Secret prayer, like the melody of a 
sweet-toned voice stealing upon the ear, gen- 
tly wafts the soul to heaven ; social worship 
as a full chorus of harmonized sounds pierces 
the sky, and raises a great multitude of kin- 
dred spirits to the bright regions of everlast- 
ing love, and places them together before the 
throne of God." 

Though your lot is pleasant, and your fu- 
ture yet brighter, I should not feel that I was 
your friend did I not tell you that trials will 
come, and point you to the only way to meet 
them. I do not mean that trials can be re- 
moved, but they can be softened by resigna- 
tion to your Father's will. " Religion will do 
gi-eat things ; it will always make the bitter 
waters of Marah wholesome and palatable. 
But we must not think it will usually turn 
water to wine, because it once did so." I 
would not have you believe that, because you 
love God first, you will not suffer when he 
sends afflictions. Indeed, I agree with a dis- 
tinguished writer who says : " I never could 


observe that nature suffered less because 
grace triumphed the more. And hence arises, 
as I take it, the glory of the Christian suf- 
ferer : he feels affliction more intensely than a 
bad man. or grace would not have its perfect 
work ; as it would not be difficult to subdue 
that which it is not difficult to endure." Faith 
can make the darkest providences bright, 
and, as an old writer says, " is exceedingly 
charitable and thinketh no evil of God ; nay, 
whether God come to his children with a rod 
or a crown, if he come himself with it, it 
is well." Many afflictions would be unen- 
durable without the Comforter. In the dark 
night of sorrow we still feel sure that " He 
w^ho sends the storm steers the vessel." 
When the heart is crushed, it is hard to see 
the good for which the trial is designed ; but, 
as Locke beautifully remarks, " Beyond all 
this we may find another reason why God 
hath scattered up and down several degrees 
of pleasure and pain, in all things that environ 
and affect us, and blended them together in 
almost all that our thoughts and senses have 
to do with, that we, finding imperfection, dis- 


satisfaction, and want of complete happiness 
in all the enjoyments which the creatures can 
afford us, might be led to seek it in the enjoy- 
ment of Him with whom there is fulness of 
joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures 
for evermore." This experience of the great 
reasoner is confirmed by an extract from one 
of our most beautiful po'ets, — perhaps so 
beautiful because chastened by the sorrow he 
describes : — " He who best knows our nature 
(for He made us what we are) by such afflic- 
tions recalls us from our wandering thoughts 
and idle merriment; from the insolence of 
youth and prosperity, to serious reflection, to 
om' duty, and to himself : nor need we hasten 
to get rid of these impressions : time, by the 
appointment of the same power, will cure the 
smart, and in some hearts blot out all the 
traces of sorrow ; but such as preserve them 
the longest (for it is partly left in our own 
power) do perhaps best acquiesce in the will 
of the Chastiser." 

K my weak hand could keep back sorrow 
from every young heart, I should do it ; but 
my kindness would be injudicious, my judg- 


meiit erring. I rejoice that your happiness is 
in the keeping of One whose wisdom cannot 
mistake, whose power will never falter, whose 
love can never fail. Do not dread the future. 
The troubles we anticipate rarely come. Many 
a parent who dreads leaving a delicate child 
in a lonely world of sin lives to do the last 
acts of love for that child. Though you may 
"prepare for storms, pray for fair weather." 
The fau' weather will be fairer for the storms. 
And now in the sunny time, when, having 
learned your own powers, having found the 
instruments to work, and the greatness of the 
labor, you look out into the harvest-field of 
the world, — when, in the fulness of your yet 
fresh strength, yet relying on Him who sends 
forth the laborers, you long to go forth and 
gather in a few sheaves for the X^ord of the 
harvest, — sing the pleasant song a gentle 
heart hath sung before you : — 

" When morning wakes the earth from sleep, 
"With soft and kindling ray, 
We rise, Life's harvest-field to reap, 

'T is ripening day by day. .^ 

256 life's harvest. 

" To reap, sometimes with joyful heart, 
Anon with tearful eye ; 
We see the Spoiler hath a part, 
We reap with smile and sigh. 

" Full oft the tares obstruct our way, 
Full oft we feel the thorn ; 
Our hearts grow faint, — we weep, we pray, ■ 
Then Hope is newly born. 

" Hope that at last we all shall come, 
Though rough the way and long 
Back to our Father's house, our home, 
And bring our sheaves with song." 




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